5/11/23 COA Telework Update

We met with the city manager on May 10 to discuss the development of the telework policy. We argued against the current proposal, which would allow only two days of teleworking per week, but the city manager showed no interest in negotiating.

We object to the proposal and the way it was developed. This has been a rushed process that has led to hasty decision-making. Our position is that a policy such as this requires adequate time to collect and analyze data and stakeholder input. Our friends at Travis County are in the middle of developing their own policy where 75% of eligible employees will work remotely on a permanent basis. In our view, this isn’t about how many days an employee should be allowed to telework, it’s about what is possible for
the future of work.

Determining eligibility for employees to be able to clock hours remotely is key, and we do not believe the City has put in the time nor the effort to do this. Travis County is doing this work, and we are going to continue to suggest the City model their process after the County’s. We are looking for data driven metrics that show what is possible for remote work while being able to service the public at the same time.

We are committed to work life balance, a safe and healthy work environment, effective retention and recruitment strategies, equity for those who cannot work remotely, climate protection, and serving our community. Our efforts in delivering on this policy will be driven by these beliefs.

The city manager presented his policy proposal to department directors on May 10. Local 1624 is ready to fight this policy as it stands and to deliver a better one. But first we need to hear from all of you. Look out for a brief survey and be sure to fill it out ASAP.

Our goal is to lift up your voices into the decision-making rooms so we do not end up with a top down policy created by and for management.

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