EARNED PAID SICK TIME:
It’s about time! Everyone gets sick and everyone needs time to get better.
On February 5th Rep. Chang and Sen. Ananich introduced bills in the Michigan House and Senate that would ensure that all Michigan workers have the ability to earn paid sick days to use when they are ill or need to take care of a family member. Read more. EJAM partners have been happy to be partners in the Time to Care Coalition, which began organizing to support paid sick days around the state at the beginning of this year.
At this point, the legislature has failed to act on the bills introduced by Rep. Chang and Sen. Ananich. Therefore, the Time to Care Coalition has changed course. The Board of Canvassers has approved petition language and the fight for earned paid sick time will continue! The Time to Care Coalition will collect more than 300,000 signatures from Michiganders in an effort to bring the question to the voters in the November 2016 election.
Read about the great support Paid Sick Days got in our recent poll
EPST CAMPAIGN UPDATE
For nearly a year, activists and organizers with MI Time to Care worked day and night collecting signatures in the fight for earned paid sick time in Michigan. Our goal was to put a question on the ballot that would have allowed all working people in Michigan to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours on the job.
We didn’t quite make it, but we’re going to continue on because this campaign is too important and too many people need this vital tool in their lives. It’s about families, it’s about justice, and it’s about creating a better Michigan for everyone.
An astonishing number of Michiganders — 1.5 million — don’t have the opportunity to take time to care for themselves or a loved one when they’re ill without fear of losing out on their paycheck or being fired.
Allowing people to take time off work when they’re sick without the fear of missing bill payments or affording medication should not be a controversial issue – and in Michigan, it isn’t. The vast majority of voters support the opportunity for all working people to earn paid sick time.
It was a simple, fair, and just proposal. However, a combination of conservatives in the legislature changing the rules at the last minute and the prohibitive costs to running such a campaign from the grassroots forced us to sideline our campaign.
The ability of citizens to petition their representatives in government through ballot drives is becoming increasingly difficult because of legislative shell games and prohibitive costs that are set up to deny us our right to have a say in our democracy.
But the push for earned paid sick leave for all is far from over. That’s why we’ve re-launched our campaign with an eye for the November 2018 ballot. With the experience of this last campaign, we have grown as a coalition. We have learned where we made mistakes, have built up the relationships that we need to succeed, and know we continue to have the backing of Michigan families.
We have the support from social justice, economic, and labor organizations across the state. And most importantly, we are unhindered in our quest to create a state where no one is left behind and everyone has an opportunity to get ahead.
Despite our setback in an effort to get to the ballot this year, we are undeterred. We will be back on the streets asking Michiganders to back earned paid sick time for all working people. And we know we’ll have their support because they were there for us before.
Conservatives in the legislature may continue to stack the deck against grassroots campaigns like ours in favor of wealthy corporate interests, but by working together we can build thriving communities where every working person is able to take care of themselves and their families.
We stand strong in the fight for economic justice for all and we will be back out there again with a new signature effort for 2018.