It is an exciting day for Seattle workers. After a tireless campaign that brought together workers, business leaders, lawmakers and advocates like never before, Seattle City Council members voted 8-1 in support of a strong paid sick days standard for the city.
As National Partnership President Debra Ness said after the vote: "Momentum for paid sick days is building, and public support is strong across the nation. Seattle has created a model that demonstrates that workers and businesses have shared interests and can work together to ensure workers' access to paid sick days. It is a welcome change from the scorched-earth opposition we have seen from organized business interests in other places - and it is a wise course."
Mayor McGinn is expected to sign the bill, making Seattle the third city to have a job-protected paid sick days law. Then, nearly 190,000 workers will be able to rest easier knowing that they will no longer have to make the tough decision between a paycheck and the health of their loved ones.
Passage of this bill is more evidence of the growing momentum and public support for paid sick days in this country. Congratulations to the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce and the workers, businesses and lawmakers who made this possible. Thanks to your hard work, we are another step closer to the national paid sick days standard all working families and our communities need.
UPDATE: Seattle Mayor McGinn signed the bill on September 23, 2011.