Why PSL? (Paid Sick Leave)

To community organizers in Texas right now PSL means only one thing: Paid Sick Leave. In early August, Dallas was the first city in the state to put a paid sick leave ordinance into effect, guaranteeing workers in the city one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, capped at 64 hours a year -- that cap being lower for employers with less than 15 employees. 

Why does paid sick leave matter? Why are so many major cities in our state pushing for this, and receiving pushback? Plainly, when people are sick they should not have to work. It truly is that simple. Beyond this, when people have to work sick and avoid doctor’s appointments because they cannot afford to take unpaid time off, they get sicker. They die. To avoid this, they take time off. They lose the money that they need. They miss payments. Being sick should not cost you your rent, your car payment, one meal, certainly not your job, and certainly not even one cent. 

Everybody gets sick.

This is why it is troubling that in other cities like San Antonio, where a Paid Sick Leave Ordinance has been passed and should have also gone into effect in early August, businesses are fighting against these measures that create a better standard of living for every worker. It has been up to organizers in San Antonio, like the Texas Organizing Project, to get people from groups in support of the ordinance -- including Texas Rising, MOVE, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, the Southwest Workers Union, and so many others --  to stand with workers together and apply pressure to city council and hold these businesses accountable. This work has paid off to an extent, and this Thursday at the San Antonio City Council Chambers a vote will be held on an amended version of the original PSL ordinance. Unfortunately, this version exempts interns, but it is still a step in the right direction. There is always work to be done.

By the end of this week, it should become clear to constituents whether or not our city council stands with workers, and community organizers will be there watching, holding them accountable, and -- if needed -- voting them out.