SEATTLE — The City Council will vote Monday, Sept. 12 on an ordinance that will establish minimum requirements for paid sick leave for all employees in Seattle. All supporters of family economic security are urged to attend the Paid Sick Days Rally at 1:45 p.m. at City Hall Plaza, 600 4th Ave., followed by a march up the steps to attend the final vote.
On Aug. 10, the council’s Health Committee passed the Paid Sick Days ordinance by a vote of 4-0. Voting “yes” were Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Mike O’Brien, and ordinance sponsor Nick Licata. But since that time, business lobbyists have been putting major pressure on the council to water down the ordinance with a host of exemptions and corporate giveaways before the final vote.
Paid Sick Days supporters have been thanking those four council members for backing this important family and public health measure, and urging against corporate efforts to weaken the ordinance.
TAKE A STAND! — Click here to thank Councilmembers Licata, Clark, Godden and O’Brien for their support and to urge them not to water down the Paid Sick Days ordinance. Then, mark your calendars to attend the Sept. 12 rally at 1:45 p.m. followed by the council meeting and vote.
An avalanche of support for the ordinance has resulted in thousands of emails (1000+ to each City Council member), 2000+ postcards, and hundreds of phone calls — so many that the Council temporarily shut down its phone system. In addition, hundreds of supporters testified at and attended townhall forums, public hearings and candidate meetings to relay the message: Don’t delay – pass paid sick days today!
The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, which includes business, faith, labor and other constituencies, explains why Paid Sick Days standards are so important:
Public health – 190,000 workers in Seattle don’t get a single paid sick day, including most restaurant workers and half of retail workers. They have to choose between going to work sick or getting a pay check.
Children’s health and education – As another school year begins, the parents of 28% of kids in Seattle public schools don’t have paid sick days, meaning those kids don’t get the preventative care they need and too often have to go to school sick.
Social justice – Low-income workers, women, people of color, and immigrants bear the lion’s share of the costs for our current “voluntary” system – but we all pay a price.
Small business owners agree – Seattle’s proposed ordinance is the result of a unique collaboration between advocates and small business owners. It’s good for workers, good for business, and benefits our whole community.
For more information, see The Stand’s May 9 posting when the measure was first introduced: Paid sick leave sought for workers in Seattle.