Over the summer, we are highlighting aspects of our Shared Prosperity Agenda. Our members are sharing their experiences and expertise on Education, Healthcare, Housing, Jobs and Wages, and Progressive Revenue.
This week we are focusing on Jobs -- Within five years, every job in Massachusetts should pay at least $15/hour, and everyone should have access to safe, affordable transportation; a good first step would be an increased minimum wage, indexed to inflation, and earned sick time.
Stacie Shapiro is an activist in Needham. This letter to the editor was published in the Needham Times on July 24, 2014.
Today, nearly one million employees working in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts receive no paid sick time from their employers. Since taking time off to see a doctor or staying home to recover from an illness will result in a loss of pay, for many of these employees, taking time off is simply not an option they can afford.
This November, thanks to a coalition led by Raise Up Massachusetts, there will be a question on the ballot that [question 4], if passed, will ensure that workers across the Commonwealth will have the right to earn a limited number of paid sick days per year.
Aside from the obvious benefit this legislation provides for workers, businesses will benefit as well by having a healthier workforce.
Employees who come to work sick are often less productive, and they expose other employees to illnesses which can affect future productivity.
This is also good from a public health perspective. When people go to work sick, especially in service-related industries such as restaurants, they expose coworkers and customers. If they take public transportation, they expose other riders.
Providing workers with the option to care for themselves in the privacy and comfort of their own home is long overdue in Massachusetts. I hope you will support this important initiative by voting “yes” for earned sick time in November.
Join the Earned Sick Time campaign here, or go to a canvassing event in your area. If you don't see an event in your area or would like to host your own, contact email@example.com 617-684-5609.
Sign our petition for Jobs and Transportation here.