With businesses and advocates [including Make the Road New York] standing behind her, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn championed a deal on paid sick leave at City Hall Friday morning, and while the compromise appears to have satisfied most who supported the effort, she still has one clear opponent. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed the following report.
For three years, Speaker Christine Quinn resisted a proposal to require paid sick leave in New York City.
In the end, Quinn said it was the policy that prevailed.
“Sometimes it takes a while to get good policy,” she said. “But this isn’t about politics. It is about policy.”
“We have a bill for 1 million New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Councilwoman Gale Brewer. “Whatever it took, I am glad we have the bill.”
It is, however, a proposal that has been pared down.
Under the proposal, businesses with 20 or more employees, including part-time workers, will have to provide five paid sick days by April 2014. The following year, the cap will drop to businesses with 15 employees.
The original bill targeted businesses with five or more employees.
The new version will exempt manufacturing, but will include franchises.
In a win for businesses, Quinn worked in another caveat: the bill will not take effect if the economy dips down.
It hinges on an economic indicator that examines unemployment and personal income. It needs to stay above January 2012 levels.
Council officials said the city would have to go into a deep recession for the paid sick leave legislation not to take effect, which they said was highly unlikely. Nonetheless, some supporters of the deal said that the provision didn’t sit well with them.
“It’s an unwelcome part of the bill. I didn’t like that,” said Dan Cantor of the Working Families Party. “It won’t happen. The trigger, we would have to have another meltdown like we had in 2008.
All of the deal making did not persuade Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“While this compromise version of the bill is better than previous iterations, it will still hurt small businesses and stifle job creation,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “The bill is short-sighted economic policy that will take our city in the wrong direction, and I will veto it.”
It’s a veto that Quinn said she will override.
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