Yesterday we reported that city workers who were told to stay home during the city’s snow day on January 27 had found out that they were being docked for their failure to come in.
Today, the mayor said that after telling all non-essential employees not to come in that morning, the city reversed course when the streets cleared up, and all workers should have reported to get to work.
And those who missed the revised memo? Tough.
“You got to listen,” Bloomberg said. “When you look out the window and it’s not as bad as you thought it was going be, maybe a bell should go off and you should say, ‘Hey, maybe I could get to work today.’ Because that should be your instinct–to want to go, unless I missed something here.”
Bloomberg said that city employees who could not get to work just need to fill out a form explaining how they were snowed in, and he rejected the notion that some city workers can miss a day because they are not considered “essential employees,” as police, firefighters and medics are often considered.
“I think everybody would like to be called essential,” he said. “Let’s start out with that. Nobody wants to have anybody say I am not essential. Essential is a word you use but I think we should find a better word or phrase…It’s sort of a technical definition but the bottom line is if you are not essential to this city, should we keep spending money and employ you? Everybody is essential. If you are not essential in that sense there is no reason the city is going to provide you with a livelihood. The city taxpayer only wants to employ people that really are important.”
And the mayor seemed awash in a nostalgia about when people used to walk through six feet of snow to get to work in the morning.
“Was it JFK that said ask what you can do–rather the reverse?,” he said, continuing, “I don’t how you were brought up by I was always brought up that you had an obligation to work. Maybe it’s different in your world.”