Council also passed building accessibility and homeless shelter measures, resolutions urging recognition of Lunar New Year as official holiday
City Hall, NY – Today, the New York City Council passed a package of bills focused on addressing pay disparities across the municipal workforce. The package would provide key data and analysis on inequity (particularly across race and gender) among City employees and enact practices that help confront occupation segregation and promote workforce diversity and pay equity. The package also includes bills requiring each city agency and department that requires job applicants to take a civil service exam to report on data related to those exams in order to evaluate and expand diverse recruitment and retention within city government and expanding the Pay Equity Law of 2019 by Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) providing and collecting additional employment and pay data to the Council.
The Council also passed several pieces of legislation to enhance the accessibility of buildings. They require signage indicating the location and use of power and low-energy power-operated doors, reporting of the number of affordable housing units marked for people with disabilities that are actually rented to them, and construction of new housing projects that receive City-financial assistance adhere to Universal Design, a housing design approach that bolsters accessibility. Additionally, the Council passed legislation creating an advisory board on accessibility issues in relation to City homeless shelters and a bill requiring monthly reporting on the total number of families with children living within the shelter system. The Council also passed resolutions urging recognition of Lunar New Year as an official holiday in New York City, as an official holiday in City schools, and as a federal holiday.
Committee on Civil and Human Rights
Building upon existing efforts to tackle pay equity issues across race and gender within our municipal workforce, the Council voted on the following pay equity bill package from the Committees on Civil and Human Rights and Civil Service and Labor:
Introduction 515-A, sponsored by Speaker Adrienne Adams, would require city agencies to conduct an analysis of compensation data and measures to address pay disparity and occupational segregation, diversity and inclusion training, and schedule and workplace accommodations. The head of each agency would be required to submit an annual report on staff retention, promotion, termination and resignation, with accompanying compensation information. Finally, this legislation requires DCAS to contract with a private sector expert to conduct a 3-year pay equity analysis on a minimum number of civil service titles. The analysis would examine civil service titles with the largest gender and racial or ethnic demographic difference from the demographic found in New York City.
“The civil service can be a gateway to economic mobility and the middle class in our city,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “However, for civil service opportunities to meet this potential, we must eliminate pay disparities based on gender, race, or ethnicity. While there have been minor improvements, pay disparities within titles continue. Our Pay Equity package will provide key data and analysis on inequity in our municipal workforce and enact practices that help promote workforce diversity and pay equity. I thank my Council colleagues for their support of this important legislation.”
Committee on Civil Service and Labor
Introduction 527-A, sponsored by Civil Service and Labor Committee Chair Carmen De La Rosa, would require each city agency and department that requires job applicants to take a civil service exam to report on data related to those exams in order to evaluate and expand diverse recruitment and retention within city government. It would also require reporting on the agencies and departments’ training programs to evaluate recruitment efforts across government. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) would be tasked with coordinating the data collection and reporting to the Council.
“Municipal workers are the backbone of our city, and operating with a skeleton staff in some of the most in-demand departments will not cut it,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa. “Our city is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and we need our municipal workforce fully staffed and trained so that we can continue delivering the many necessary services that our New Yorkers depend on. Introduction 527-A would uplift our efforts in filling these vacancies in an equitable manner while creating strong accountability measures to ensure our government is delivering those services.”
Introduction 541-A, sponsored by Council Member Farah Louis, would expand the existing Pay Equity Law, Local Law 18/2019, by requiring the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to collect and provide additional employment and pay data to the Council. It would capture more of the city workforce and provide year-round access to pay and employment data, so the Council can provide more robust oversight at its discretion.
“Pay equity is the cornerstone of a just society,” said Council Member Farah Louis. “New York City has been on a pay equity journey for some time but pay disparities in city government remain a pervasive issue. It is unacceptable that women, workers of color, and particularly women of color are still making significantly less than their white male counterparts nearly 4 years after Local Law 18 was signed into law to track government pay data. The bill that I’m advancing today, Intro 541-A, builds on Local Law 18 to further explore, and ultimately address, the disparities we still see in New York City government pay. This NYC Council is the most diverse it’s ever been. We have a unique moment to pass bold legislation that will leave a legacy of more equitable pay in NYC government for decades to come.”
Committee on Housing and Buildings
The Council voted on the following bills to take steps towards improving accessibility for New Yorkers. by requiring proper signage for power operated doors and changing the Building Code to require the creation of units that adhere to Universal Design, an approach to the design and composition of an environment, meant to increase the quality of life for an individual regardless of age, size, ability, or disability.
Introduction 141-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, would require signage indicating the location and use of power and low-energy power operated doors in accordance with the Building Code.
Introduction 375-A sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, requires the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to report every three years to the Mayor and City Council the number of affordable housing units marked for people with disabilities that are actually rented to persons with disabilities.
“This collection of bills will ensure better accessibility requirements and help inform the Council on ways we can improve accessibility conditions in our shelters and affordable housing developments,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “As a City we should strive to improve conditions for people with disabilities and these bills are a step in the right direction.”
Introduction 676-A, sponsored by Council Member Crystal Hudson, would mandate that new construction housing projects that receive City-financial assistance must have all units adhere to Universal Design, a housing design approach that addresses barriers faced by individuals with disabilities, older adults and youth.
“Introduction 676A is a critical component to my Age in Place NYC legislative package, codifying our City’s commitment to achieving accessibility for all,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “This law requires all new residential developments receiving City subsidies to implement universal design principles, which include elements like wider doorways, accessible door handles, and low or adjustable countertops, creating a baseline for us to scale true accessibility in residential settings across the five boroughs regardless of age, physical ability or stature. We must continue to pursue solutions that demand a guarantee of equity, justice, and accessibility in all facets of New Yorkers’ everyday lives. With this law, we do just that. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the Council, Speaker Adams, and the scores of advocates who have long organized for these changes to affirm New Yorkers’ right to age in place with dignity.”
Committee on General Welfare
To better position the city to effectively address challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and families with children in the shelter system and ensure they have the tools to succeed, the Council voted on the following pieces of legislation:
Introduction 92-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, would create an advisory board to advise the Mayor and the City Council on accessibility issues in relation to City shelters. The board would meet quarterly and include people who live with a disability and currently reside in or previously lived in a homeless shelter. The advisory board would provide an annual report of its review and recommendations.
Introduction 421-A, sponsored by Council Member Kevin Riley, will require the Department of Homeless Services to provide monthly reporting on the total number of families with children living within the shelter system, their average length of stay, how many families have transitioned to permanent housing and data related to school enrollment and attendance for youth in shelters.
Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and Internal Intergroup Relations
In recognition of the importance that the Lunar New Year holds for our City’s East and South Asian cultures, the Council adopted the following resolutions calling for Lunar New Year to be an official federal and city holiday.
Resolution 331-A, sponsored by Council Member Christopher Marte, would call on the City to recognize Lunar New Year as an annual school holiday and as an official holiday in New York City.
Resolution 424-A, sponsored by Council Member Sandra Ung, calls upon the United States Congress to pass, and the President to sign, H.R. 430, which establishes Lunar New Year as a federal holiday.
“This is the most diverse group of City Council members in the legislative body’s history, both in ethnicity and gender, so the passage of this resolution show lawmakers in Washington that there is broad support for making Lunar New Year a federal holiday in a city where Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic population,” said Council Member Sandra Ung. “Designating Lunar New Year as a federal holiday would be an important recognition of the contributions of Asian Americans to this country, and an important recognition of our country’s rich cultural diversity. I want to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams and my colleagues in the City Council for this significant show of support for the AAPI community.”
The Council also passed the following Land Use items:
446-448 Park Avenue Rezoning – 446-448 Park Realty Corp. seeks a proposed zoning map amendment from M1 to M1-4/R6A and zoning text amendment to establish a new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area (MIH) at the southern side of the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Park Avenue in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. These actions would facilitate development of a 6-story residential building with 11 housing units, including approximately 3 affordable under MIH. The Council will be modifying the MIH text amendment to strike Option 2, leaving only Option 1 as the requirement under MIH, in Council Member Lincoln Restler’s district.
Reform Temple of Forest Hills Rezoning – Weber Management, Inc and the Reform Temple of Forest Hills is requesting a zoning map amendment from R1-2A to R7D and related zoning text amendment to establish a new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area affecting the applicant-controlled property located at 71- 11 112th Street in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens as well as an approximately 12,500-sf portion of the adjacent property. The proposed development site is currently occupied by the Reform Temple of Forest Hills, a 22,800 square foot house of worship with a variety of classrooms and community spaces that dates to 1963. These actions will facilitate redevelopment of the existing temple into a 10-story mixed-use building with a new, enlarged temple facility, 153 housing units above, approximately 38 permanently affordable units under MIH, 66 attended parking spaces on the cellar level and 102 bike parking spaces. The community facility and house of worship will be fully ADA accessible, include flexible multipurpose sanctuary space, classrooms, and offices on the ground floor. The Council will be modifying the MIH text amendment to strike Option 2, leaving only Option 1 as the requirement under MIH, in Council Member Lynn Schulman’s district.
The Council also passed the following Finance item:
- Transparency Resolution: Approving new designations and changes of certain organizations receiving funding in the Expense Budget.
The Council also approved the following appointments:
- Stephen Chu, as a Member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission
- Angie Master, as a Member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission
- Mark Ginsberg, as a Member of the Landmarks Preservation Commission
- Carol R. Edmead, as a Commissioner of the Board of Elections
- Deanna Hoskins, as a Member of the Board of Correction
- Rachel Bedard, as a Member of the Board of Correction