Connecticut Moms Tell Legislators, ‘Even Super Moms Can’t Fight All Germs. We Need Paid Sick Days’
January 5, 2011
Moms and Other Activists Deliver ‘Hand-Sanitizer-o-Grams with Messages About the Need for Paid Sick Days’
A bottle of hand sanitizer is great, but it can only do so much to prevent a cold or the flu. Once someone gets sick, what they really need is time off from work to get better and to help them avoid spreading germs. Unfortunately, four in ten Connecticut workers have to sacrifice their pay – or even their jobs – if they need to take time off. This was the message that MomsRising members across the state were sending through “hand-sanitizer-o-grams” (bottles of hand sanitizer attached to messages about the need for paid sick days legislation) that were delivered to legislators in Hartford earlier today. The legislators also received books of stories from Connecticut residents that illustrate the importance of paid sick days to families.
The deliveries are intended to encourage legislators to support legislation that would allow all workers at medium-sized and large businesses to earn a minimum of five paid sick days a year. The messages were collected and delivered by the Everybody Benefits coalition for paid sick days, which includes MomsRising, Connecticut Working Families, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, labor unions, faith-based organizations, women’s advocates and health care providers. MomsRising is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization for moms and everyone who has a mom, working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States.
Each “hand-sanitizer-o-gram” included a message. Among them were:
I'm lucky I get paid sick days from my employer, but what about the parents in my child's class? This is the kind of regulation that separates us from what we used to call "third world" countries. Let's not drop the ball.
- Clarisa, Milford, CT
I have been working for two and a half years without without being able to get paid for any sick time. I have two daughters and I'm on a weekly budget. If my daughters or I get sick then bills have to be put on the back burner. The stress alone is making me sick. Please help! We are all stressed out enough in life.
- Michelle, East Haven, CT
As a Grandma who is a frequent sick child caregiver, I'd like to add to the list compassion for the misery of sick, unhappy little kids who have no Grandma care available, and who have to soldier on, along with their Moms.
- Ruthie, Bloomfield, CT
My husband works for a retail store, and has no sick days. Every dollar he makes is important to our income--he should not have to go to work sick just so we don't have to worry about making our mortgage that month!
- Karla, Cromwell, CT
“It’s outrageous that 40 percent of Connecticut workers have no paid sick days,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “What makes this even worse is that many of the people who most need that time off can’t get it – workers who prepare and serve food and workers who care for children or the elderly. When they can’t take time off to get better, it’s not healthy for any of us.”
The coalition of advocates made the deliveries on the first day of the Connecticut legislative session, to encourage legislators to take up the crucial issue of paid sick days this year.