April 14, 2015

Paid Sick Days

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Action United State Chairwoman, Kia Philpot-Hinton, speaking to the media on the need for Earned Sick Days.

On February 12th, after years of work since 2011, ACTION United in conjunction with Philadelphia City Council and The Center For Popular Democracy passed the Payed Sick Days Bill at Philadelphia City Council.

Though staunchly opposed by big business, state politicians, and hedge fund managers, ACTION United was able to rally behind the people in the community to get this legislation passed and signed by Mayor Nutter.

For the people of Philadelphia, this is a huge victory. It means that 150,000 workers, nearly 40% of Philly’s workforce will be able to stay home when ill or be able to stay home and care for a sick child or family member. It means that no longer do low to moderate income workers have to be forced to make the unconscionable decision of whether to provide for their families, or take care of their own health. It means that workers in Philly, regardless of income, will be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

ACTION United member, Rafeal Curtis (left), speaks on the need for paid sick days in front of City Council.

HOW DID WE DO IT?

Simply put, through ACTION. We were able to organize low to moderate income and service industry employees in Philadelphia. With this community power we lobbied city council to make the legislation a top priority for 2015.

On February 6th we had our members speak at Philadelphia City Council during the preliminary hearing on the need for the legislation. Service industry workers like Rafeal Curtis, a 24 year old fast food employee, came out to the preliminary hearing at City Council to speak on the need for paid sick days.

“I shouldn’t have to choose [between] feeding ourselves and paying electric bills.”

Rafeal, along with other ACTION United members were able to sway city council who passed the bill with overwhelming support on 2/12/15.

Click HERE for our Storify.