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Philadelphia city workers to return full time to office in July

Center City deli hopes for uptick in customers once city employees to return to work in July
Center City deli hopes for uptick in customers once city employees to return to work in July 02:38

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker announced Monday that all city workers are expected back in the office this summer, believing the policy will benefit the city and its government.

Parker said the return to office policy will take effect July 15.

City workers received an email about the change on Monday. The policy impacts about 4,700 people working across all departments.

"Employee presence at the workplace allows for more personal and productive interactions," Paker said at a press conference. "It facilitates communication. It promotes social connection along with collaboration, innovation and inclusion. It also delivers on my promise of an accessible workforce that is best situated to serve the people of Philadelphia."

Parker said a return to the office will result in "work environments where equal opportunity and diversity, equity and inclusion are truly realized."

"This city works and is powered because the men and women who come and they make it work on a daily basis," Parker said. 

The mayor added the city will make changes to accommodate the new policy, including an increase in parental leave, emergency care needs for child and elder care and designating the Friday after Thanksgiving as a holiday.

"We are at war with the status quo right now," Parker said. "We want to ensure that we have done everything that we could to make sure that our workers have the support that they need as we work to implement this policy."

Center City business owners happy with return to office push in Philadelphia 02:03

Darren Hinmon has seen a lot in his 20 years at Express Breakfast & Lunch, just across the street from City Hall.

He said his business took a hit during the pandemic.

"A barren land with no money to be made," Hinmon, who's a cook at Express Breakfast & Lunch, said.

That changed in March, though, when some Philadelphia city employees were required to come back into the office five days a week.

Hinmon is hopeful that the uptick in customers will continue with the new policy.

"I'm going to be waiting for them to come so I can cook them some food," Hinmon said. 

However, not everyone is on board with the change. 

David Wilson, the president of AFSCME Local 2187, the union representing municipal workers, claimed the mayor's decision shows she "doesn't care for her city workforce." Wilson added the union is "disheartened" by the policy change.

"This to us, is a mandatory subject of bargaining to which the city clearly doesn't," Wilson said in a statement. "Making such an impactful change in the middle of summer or in general, directly harms our members, their families and creates chaos. It has become clearer than ever that the mayor doesn't care for her city workforce. Her actions speak louder than words."

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