COVID Public Sector Work Letter to Mayor de Blasio
April 2, 2020
Honorable Bill de Blasio
New York, NY 10007
Mayor de Blasio,
During this crisis, we understand that difficult decisions must be made and thank the City and State for their tireless efforts in keeping the public safe and informed. We trust that the City will meet the ensuing challenges in the short term, while considering the steps necessary to support the long-term vitality of its businesses, industries, and workers.
As such, we write to you asking that the City reconsider its decision to immediately halt design work for public projects. Design work is essential to construction projects, and, as you know, necessary for public projects to be shovel-ready. Additionally, unlike other aspects of construction, design work can be safely and properly completed in the safety of our homes.
As we explore ways to maintain basic levels of economic activity, permitting design work for public projects to continue will serve as an important opportunity to keep workers safely employed with wages and benefits during the current crisis, and to help prepare New York for the groundbreaking of construction projects that will employ tens of thousands of union construction workers once this crisis has been overcome.
Delays to work that can safely continue from our homes will further hinder our city’s recovery efforts and create challenges for middle-class New York families, including many union construction workers and MWBE architects, engineers, and general contractors.
We strongly recommend that you allow design and construction work to continue to the maximum extent permitted under New York State guidance. Furthermore, we ask that all design and construction that has already occurred be compensated.
This is a very difficult time for all New Yorkers, and we understand the gravity of the City’s circumstances. We all share a common goal of ensuring that our economy gets back on its feet once the virus passes and we believe construction will take the lead in our city’s recovery.
American Council of Engineering Companies New York
American Institute of Architects New York
Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
Building Trades Employers’ Association of New York City
New York Building Congress
New York City Central Labor Council
CC: New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
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