Mayor Parker stands firm on return-to-office mandate as deadline looms for Philly workers

Philadelphia's remote workers must return to the office by next week under an order by Mayor Cherelle Parker, who defended the controversial move during a Wednesday morning press conference.

"I made a decision that I stand by firmly and that is in order to make good on that promise to you that I need Philadelphia's municipal workforce to return to office to provide valuable support and 
services to youth," Parker said.

Senior city staff were ordered back to an in-person schedule back in February.

On Monday morning, July 15th, all of Philadelphia’s 25,000 workers are to be back in the office, on the job, in the city’s new post-COVID work world.

The mayor says she believes having city workers in-person helps fulfill a campaign promise to make her administration more accessible.

"I hope that it is evident to you that I am trying to go to war. I am at war. I'm at war with the status quo here in the city of Philadelphia, trying to use every tool possible to do the best I can with what I have as your mayor, to make good on the commitment that I've made to each of you."

Parker’s back-to-work order for approximately 4,500 city employees, still working from home, or on a hybrid schedule, has faced push back from unions.

District Council 47 is suing and has forced a court hearing Thursday morning to put Parker’s order on ice.

President of District Council 33, Greg Boulware, had this to say, "I think there would be a negative impact if this order were to go through. People will have to consider if they want to continue their employment with the city."


Mayor Parker administration sued over return-to-office mandate for Philadelphia workers

The union representing thousands of Philadelphia city employees is asking a judge to block a return-to-office policy issued by Mayor Cherelle Parker.

The unions believe they have a right to negotiate over a return to work, but the Parker Administration says they don’t. It argues some 80 percent of the workforce is already back and some workers, police, firefighters and others, never left.

Mayor Parker stated, "We’ve given eight weeks for people to make adjustments in their lives. Our very valuable work force."

The unions argue a summer return leaves parents without childcare and one union leader accuses the mayor of being "divisive."

District Council Vice President, Robert Harris, said, "Our municipal workers who are fighting to be able to retain their work from home or hybrid schedules are citizens of Philadelphia. They pay their taxes in Philadelphia."

Meanwhile, restaurants and bars are offering deals for workers coming back to the city:

  • P.J. Clarke's: Complimentary appetizer with any burger/entrée purchase
  • Village Whiskey: Free fries with any burger purchase
  • Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse: Buy one, get one wings on Monday, and 25 percent off all week
  • Dim Sum House: 10 percent off through the end of July