Call and come out in support of the earned sick time bill!

The earned sick time bill is moving towards a final vote in City Council this Thursday, June 16. Please join us on the 4th floor of City Hall at 9:30 am. Help us greet City Council members as they enter Session. Then we'll pack Council chambers to show the importance of this bill. Bring any signs or posters to represent why you support earned sick days. You can enter City Hall at the north-east corner. Remember to bring a picture ID.

Where is Bill Green on the legislation?

And, please, today, give at-large Councilman Bill Green a call at (215) 686-3420 and ask him to support the legislation. Councilman Green has been pretty perplexing on this issue. He has been saying supportive things for a few months now but also putting forward a variety of amendments, some of which made a lot of sense and which were adopted and some of which seemed kind of pointless. And now, he seems to be leaning against the legislation because he wants to create an exemption for stores like Wal-Mart that provided earned sick time before the legislation came into effect. The problem is that while Wal-Mart gives its employees sick time, it also gives them demerits if they take the sick time. That’s just not an acceptable way to treat one's employees or the public because it encourages people who serve the public to come to work sick.

This legislation is controversial among some small business and restaurant owners. I grew up in the hotel business and I know that responsible restaurateurs are concerned about the health of their employees and, even more so, of their customers. When I ran the kitchen and dining room at my parent’s hotel, I was concerned if a server or a kitchen worker was sniffling and tried to keep them far from food handling. And there were time when I took over for them and sent them to bed. When I go to restaurants today I am just grossed out when I see someone who is obviously ill working. But responsible restaurateurs are under competitive pressure not to grant earned sick time, just as business people who want to raise wages are under competitive pressure to keep them low. This legislation, like minimum wage legislation, raises the bar for all employers. It may add a little bit to the cost of a meal or child care. But the benefit to working people and to the health of people in the city is certainly worth it.

But don't take my word for it, check out this wonderful song by Tom Lehrer that addresses the issue (or one like it)!

So please, call Councilman Green today and join us on Thursday.


but ahem, props ahem...

Sorry, Brendan!

I should have thanked Brendan Skwire here, as I did on Facebook, for making me aware of the great Lehrer video to which I linked.

it's cool!

I'm glad you used it!

The Problem with Progressive's like Marc

When there was an opportunity to thank Bill Greenlee, myself and others who have been very progressive, everyone said let's bullet Sherri Cohen. When I am trying to get more taxes out of Walmart you are with me. The post above is preposterous. What specific amendment did I want that helps Walmart--if there is one no one has explained that to me. You may think my proposed amendments are not in the interest of workers but without them you don't have my vote. The choice the progressives made is probably no paid sick leave rather than getting your foot in the door. All or nothing often results in nothing. If you make each new issue a new litmus test for your support then you lose credibility AND that is what you do. You are never satisfied, when we disagree on one issue, I failed today's "progressive" test. There will be one tomorrow, what kind of relationship will we have?

How about working together to bring back the BPT proposal and you organize around that, something we agree on? Let's get Walmart to pay their fair share in taxes to the City? Maria and I got far out on that issue, when we turned around no one was there. (yes, a few people testified, that was it)

I don't believe anyone has said "all or nothing"

Although I haven't been in the thick of this particular fight, I'm pretty sure I saw a spokesperson for the coalition publicly welcome amendments that would exempt mom and pops from the legislation. I don't think it's too much to ask that you explain clearly what your objection to the repeatedly amended legislation still is. And why, even with what I understand to have been many concessions by the advocates, you aren't supporting it. If that's true, which I hope it isn't.

That's a non-answer answer.

Penn ACTION is part of the coalition in support of the earned sick time legislation but I'm not personally playing a large role in leading it. So I can only report what I hear from the leadres of the coalition.

Our understanding is that Councilman Green wants to exempt companies that offer earned sick time provisions even if those provisions, like Wal-marts, are seriously flawed.

If that is not what Councilman Green wants in return for his vote on the earned sick time bill, then we don't know what he wants. I and the leaders of the coalition would like to know because we have been and remain perplexed about his position for some time.

As for the BPT proposal: when I heard Councilman Green give a good presentation about it at Philly for Change I immediately said that I supported it and that Penn ACTION would like to work with his office to build support in the small business community to build a movement for it. I never heard from him. But the offer still stands. The BPT proposal may need some tweaks here or there, but it is drawn from an idea Stan Shapiro and I have been defending at YPP and elsewhere for a few years and I'm impressed that Councilmembers Green and Quinones-Sanchez have been championing it. It's one of a number of examples of their bringing some new energy and ideas to our city government.

The Problem with Progressive's like Marc

As his Ward Leader, I can assure you that Marc did not bullet Sherrie Cohen, and in fact supported both you and Bill Greenlee on election day.

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