A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Oct. 31 dismissed a temporary restraining order that blocked the Housing Authority from assigning alternative work schedules for Caretakers, Supervisors of Caretakers and other staff members.
The work-schedule change allowed staff to make repairs outside of the traditional work hours, which are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Caretakers can choose to work four days a week from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., with weekend assignments every other week.
Meant to Speed Process
The schedules were implemented in order to improve conditions at NYCHA. Staff at 38 additional developments who chose an alternative work schedule were supposed to start working the extended hours last month.
But Teamsters Local 237, which represents 8,000 NYCHA employees, sought to address longstanding safety concerns, including broken front-entrances and lights. The union first brought up potential security issues that came with staff working nights when the agency implemented the smaller-FlexOps program in 2016. Its contract states that “all safety issues identified in the FlexOps agreement…will be addressed prior to implementation of AWS in a location.”
“We’re seeking the Housing Authority to address our checklist of safety concerns, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for,” the union’s president Gregory Floyd previously told The Chief. “At 7 p.m. during the winter it’s dark—and crime goes up in NYCHA when it’s dark.”
On Oct. 18, a fill-in judge granted a temporary restraining order preventing the expansion of the extended work days. But after a hearing on the matter, Justice Eileen Rakower reversed that decision. Now, workers at the 38 developments are set to start alternative shifts Dec. 1, according to NYCHA. The city plans to offer the extended work schedules at all of the agency’s 325 developments by early next year.
Mr. Floyd did not return calls for comment regarding the decision.
HA: Deal’s a Deal
NYCHA noted that the union’s contract also includes language that states that safety concerns should be addressed by a labor-management committee.
“Local 237 leadership signed the AWS [memorandum of agreement] in December 2018 and its members ratified it. AWS includes standard, common daytime work hours, and this expansion of coverage is central to improving the cleanliness of our developments and the quality of life for our residents,” said NYCHA spokeswoman Barbara Brancaccio.
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