Paid Sick Leave Wins Big in Milwaukee

Friday, November 14, 2008 | Margy's Blog & Updates

On November 4, Milwaukee made its voice heard, becoming the third US city to guarantee paid sick leave to workers. 69% of city voters cast ballots in favor of the measure to give full-time workers 9 paid sick days per year. While business leaders continued to voice their opposition to the referendum, Milwaukee residents decided that this is one work/life policy that everyone deserves.

In September, the Institute for Women's Policy Research published the results of a cost/benefit analysis of the paid sick leave measure, which found that "the new standard will directly benefit more than 75,000 Milwaukee workers who currently lack paid sick days and provide net savings to Milwaukee employers of $15 million per year, largely from reduced costs of turnover." 

At The Mobility Agenda, we have written about the importance of paid sick leave and other crucial work life policies before (see our Work-Life page  or read our recent report, Work-Life Policies for the Twenty-First Century Economy). And while workers everywhere can applaud Milwaukee's victory, it is little comfort to the millions of workers and families around the country whose work and survival remains vulnerable to an unanticipated illness. Paid sick leave is crucial not only to individual workers, but their families and larger communities as well - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized a lack of paid sick days as a public health concern. That is particularly true in the service industry, whose workers come into close contact with the public on a daily basis.

Paid sick leave is important to healthy communities and a strong economy - and not just in Milwaukee. It ensures that workers are able to meet work, family, and social obligations that keep America running. Federal and state policymakers and employers should build on Milwaukee's success by guaranteeing paid sick days for all workers.

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News Brief - September 5

Friday, September 5, 2008 | News


Group pulling Ohio sick leave measure from ballot

Study: Few California Workers Aware of Family Leave Law
And fewer have taken time off. 

Sick and Fired: US Workers Struggle Without Paid Sick, Parental Leave
"A new report finds the United States ranks at the bottom of 21 high-income nations in providing parental leave for workers."
In spite of the revelation that...
American Workers Overwhelmingly Support Paid Sick Days

How does Swedish parental leave work?
A jealousy-inducing example of "elsewhere."  

Labor Market, Economy, Wages

Struggles for worker justice take on new urgency, intensity
"As we enjoy barbecue picnics and time off from work, we should also remember the most fundamental aspect of Labor Day: honoring workers and their struggles for rights."

Tough economy worsens struggle for workers, job seekers
It's a recurrent story - wages aren't keeping up with inflation, it's harder to recover from job loss, and job security is fading. It will take better jobs to build the economy we so wistfully remember.

For others, Census data paints a rosier picture:
The Real Economic Scorecard

Let's Stop Minimizing Minimum Wage
"Two years ago, more than 650 economists, including five Nobel Prize winners, signed a statement saying state and federal minimum wage increases can "significantly improve the lives of low-income workers and their families, without the adverse effects that critics have claimed."

Health Care

Cost of caring for Missourians without health insurance impacts everyone in the state

Kids of Stressed, Low-Income Mothers Prone to Weight Problems
Making jobs better - and ensuring that hard work earns a living wage - is not only good for workers, but for the health of their families and communities as well.

Absence makes baby's brain grow softer: Call for two years paid maternity leave

Education, Housing

Economic Diversity: Why We Measure It
US News ranks colleges according to the economic diversity of their student populations.

Affordable housing hard to come by on coast
Hurricanes: conveniently gentrifying neighborhoods for the wealthy everywhere.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy is back in the public eye, with poverty, not Palin, apparently to blame:
Poverty, not sex ed, key factor in teen pregnancy
Cause for Alarm? Understanding Recent Trends in Teenage Childbearing Exception: Collection was modified after the enumerator was instantiated.

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News Brief - September 2

Tuesday, September 2, 2008 | News

Wages, Labor market

Renewing America's 'contract with the middle class'
"Workers were rewarded for their hard work with fair wages, benefits and advancement opportunities -- and our economy and our national security were much stronger for it."

Why unions matter more than ever
"According to Greenhouse, if wages had increased as fast as productivity since 1979, a full-time worker would earn $58,000 a year and not the $36,000 that was the average in 2007."

Labor Day blues ensue:
Report: Labor Day finds workers worse off
Workers laboring to stay afloat
""Even if the economy turns back up, what this business cycle showed us is while strong productivity growth is essential for rising living standards, it doesn't guarantee rising living standards," Shierholz said."
Economic gains of workers cut, nonprofit says
"On a day that the U.S. Department of Labor says is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers," an analysis of the state economy this weekend shows that those economic achievements are eroding and that the number of those without jobs is rising."

Editorial: Middle class squeeze threatens American dream

State's minimum wage on the rise
"Roughly 26,500 New Hampshire workers were expected to benefit from the increase, most of them women, parents or older adults."



IT Dads Push for Paternity Leave

Helping with a healthy balance
Companies offer a variety of benefits to supplement the Family Medical Leave Act.

Canada weak on worker benefits: Report
"Weak" for Canada sounds herculean when compared with US.



Jackson: Revive the war on poverty
When you've been losing a war for 40 years, isn't it time to find a different strategy? Exception: Collection was modified after the enumerator was instantiated.

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News Brief - August 26

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 | News


The high cost of low wages
"Can something be done to secure good jobs for all?"

Study: States differ widely on responses to wages vs. necessities gap


Ohio paid sick days plan remains controversial:
Ohio businesses eyeing voter approval of paid sick days
Strickland sides with business, says leave plan is bad for Ohio

Weigh benefits carefully in today's job market

Poverty, inequality

The Worst of Poverties
"There is evidence that to live in a society with major disparities -- in health, wealth and education -- is worse for all members of society, not excepting the better-situated members, the article says."
All the more reason why we need policies that work for everyone.

'It's kind of rough': Single parenthood, stalled wages contribute to poverty in Janesville
Good example of a bad frame...
"Kathy, 36, was supposed to go to the Rock County Job Center to look for a job today, but..."I been gonna get them done, but something happened, then something else happened…" she told one company."
...Please tell me everyone understands why this communication strategy won't work...

Make poverty reduction a priority
Kathy, 36, will be your spokesperson.  Still interested in that priority?

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