Paid Sick Days Ordinance for 2.15.18

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Paid Sick Days Ordinance for 2.15.18

Postby Greg Casar » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:56 pm

Dear Colleagues,

MPT Tovo, CM Garza, CM Kitchen and I have uploaded the draft earned sick days ordinance, vetted by our Law Department, to this post (linked below) for your consideration. We ask you and your staff to review the ordinance in the coming days and weeks, and reply to this post with any questions or comments you have as they come up. Our city’s conversation on paid sick days follows a national conversation that has occurred over the last 10 years. The United States is the only wealthy country without a national paid sick days policy. States, cities, and counties have been stepping up to fill the void, in order to make sure that no one has to choose between paying their bills or taking care of themselves or a loved one when they’re sick.

Conversations on a paid sick days policy for Austin have taken place locally over the last 2 years, since 2015. During that time, working people, small local businesses, and community groups of different sizes and scope have taken part in a rigorous process to come up with the ordinance you see here. This ordinance incorporates feedback from the stakeholder process we unanimously approved in September 2017, and includes feedback from conversations with both supporters of a citywide paid sick day policy and those less inclined to support. We have also uploaded a document outlining the long list of compromises between various interests that are included in this ordinance. We do believe what is presented here is, indeed, the result of delicate negotiation, balancing of interests, and addressing concerns.

This ordinance includes feedback from many meetings and conversations with employers, including a local business input session hosted with the co-sponsoring Council Members' offices earlier this month (also attached is a letter of support from these businesses). The ordinance also has the strong support of the Work Strong Austin coalition (Workers Defense Project, Fight for $15, Unite Here, Center for Public Policy Priorities, and Young Active Labor Leaders). While the ordinance does not give any one group everything they wanted, the ordinance achieves the goals of various stakeholders in our community. This policy is supported by health/service providers and clinics including People's Community Clinic, Planned Parenthood, and SAFE Alliance. We've attached, also to this post, a letter delivered to us by Dr. William Tierney from the Dell Medical School, detailing the important personal and public health benefits of paid sick leave.

As you recall, we most recently discussed the ordinance at our December 14th Council Meeting, where we reiterated a schedule for a vote during our February 15th Council meeting. We've also asked for the item to be available for discussion at the January 30th work session and February 13th work session. We have also begun coordinating with City staff to make an additional, optional work session available to all council members to discuss this ordinance, which is tentatively set for Tuesday, February 6 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm. For the past six months, community members have anticipated a vote on a paid sick days ordinance by Valentine’s Day. We look forward to the discussions ahead leading up to this vote on February 15th.

We trust that Council will have as robust a conversation around this ordinance as has occurred in the many community discussions surrounding this policy in recent months. Hopefully this forum will provide us with the first opportunity for discussion. Again, please feel free to reply with any questions or comments you may have.

Ordinance: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 164236.pdf
Ordinance Outline: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 164338.pdf
Small Business Letter of Support: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 164426.pdf
Dr. Tierney Letter: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 164450.pdf

Our best,

Council Member Greg Casar
Council Member Delia Garza
Council Member Ann Kitchen
Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:20 pm

Re: Paid Sick Days Ordinance for 2.15.18

Postby Greg Casar » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:01 pm

Colleagues,

An additional note. I have been a part of many democratic processes, but personally, this ordinance is the culmination of one of the most thorough and demanding processes I have been in, given the amount of interested parties, and the sheer number of lengthy meetings and phone calls we have fielded from across the city. I am proud that so many people have been engaged on this issue and committed to making this the best possible policy for all Austinites.

gc
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:20 pm


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