Two Steps This Week Toward A Fairer NYC

Two Steps This Week Toward A Fairer NYC

As New Yorkers, we believe that everyone should have a fair shot, no matter who they are, or where they live.

This week, the City Council took two steps toward making our city a little more fair.

Right now, half of low-income New Yorkers -- especially in industries like fast-food -- don’t know their work schedule in advance, and can’t get stable full-time hours. McDonald’s worker Flavia Cabral called it “the tyranny of a fast-food schedule” in the Daily News this week. The result? Families who can’t arrange child care or education. More evictions. Less stable lives.

Meanwhile, the top 10 fast-food chains in NYC earned profits of nearly $10 billion last year.  How is that fair?

So yesterday, the City Council held a hearing on our Fair Work Week legislation to protect fast-food and retail workers from abusive scheduling and offer a path to more stable working lives.

The legislation would require fast-food workers get two-weeks advance notice of their schedule, and a pathway to full-time hours if they want them. It would end “on-call” scheduling for all retail workers. It offers a creative new approach to help low-wage workers organize for their rights. And it would provide all workers with the right to request schedule flexibility to meet their caregiving, education, or other obligations.   

These policies are already in place in San Francisco, Seattle, and much of Europe, and we heard evidence yesterday that they work for businesses, too. More stable schedules mean less employee turnover, less absenteeism, and more loyalty. A fair work week is good for workers, for families, for business -- and for New York City.

We also took a step forward this week for fairness in our neighborhoods.

Back in 1989, the City Charter Commission created NYC’s “Fair Share” system to make sure City facilities would be evenly distributed across the city. From fire-houses to parks, we all expect to get our fair share of public benefits. And we should all expect to do our fair share to help NYC meet its responsibilities, too.  

Unfortunately, in too many cases, things have actually gotten less fair. Waste-transfer stations are over-concentrated in the South Bronx, Southeast Queens, and North Brooklyn. Homeless shelters and other residential bed facilities are more likely to be located in communities of color than they were 20 years ago.

So this week, the City Council released a comprehensive reform package to fix NYC’s Fair Share system. Our legislation would update the Fair Share system to make it far more transparent, to require more proactive planning, and to better insure that all communities get their fair share of benefits, and take their fair share of responsibilities.  

I invite you to learn more about both our Fair Work Week and Fair Share legislation. Please reach out to my office if you have any questions. I hope you’ll join me in supporting them.

Together, we can tip the scales of our city a little more toward fairness.

Thanks for all your support,

Brad

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