Residents of Portland District Three Express Support for Earned Paid Sick Days at Annual Meeting
Portland, ME, December 13, 2018
At the Annual District 3 Meeting residents demanded that Councilor Brian Batson support an earned paid sick days ordinance that would cover all Portland workers equally. At the October 9, 2018 Health and Human Services Committee meeting Councilor Batson. 20 supporters of the earned paid sick days policy attended the meeting, holding signs and wearing stickers in support of the Keep Portland Healthy Coalition. Attendees also delivered to Councilor Batson 169 signed postcards from District 3 residents asking him to withdraw his proposal.
“As a resident in District 3 I just want to say that sickness or illness doesn’t discriminate based on size of business” exclaimed Harlan Baker. “I want him to stand up for all workers and withdraw his proposal.”
Community members were responding to discrepancy between Councilor Batson’s very public health campaign platform and his current focus on small business carve outs for this ordinance. Clara Porter asked “You ran on a public health platform, how then can you propose a two-tiered system in which some workers are only allowed to earn half as much paid sick time than others, when illness is universal?”
At the last Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee meeting on October 9, 2018, Councilor Brian Batson introduced a proposal would create a two-tiered system in which some workers are allowed to earn more paid sick time than others. Supporters of the ordinance have called for a universal policy in which all workers would be able to earn up to 48 hours of paid sick and safe time.
Over 20 local businesses have endorsed the ordinance, as well as numerous community organizations. Paid sick days have been shown in several cities to be low to no cost to businesses but increasing productivity of workers, leading to higher quality new hires, and reduced turnover.
For more information contact:
Arlo Hennessey, Work With Dignity Program Director, Southern Maine Workers’ Center
(413) 579- 4185, Arlo@maineworkers.org
The Keep Portland Healthy Coalition: is a group of 18 non-profit and community organizations and 20 business who support a universal earn paid sick time ordinance in Portland. The steering committee is comprised of the Southern Maine Workers’ Center, the Maine Women’s Lobby, and the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America.