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Baker stalls sick leave plan, wants to exclude municipal workers.

April 16, 2021

Gov. Baker has sent Emergency Paid Sick Time legislation back to the State House with negative amendments. These include one that would exclude municipal workers.

The governor has renewed his efforts to amend various legislative proposals connected to the COVID-19 crisis — including a plan to provide the state’s workers with Emergency Paid Sick Time. One of his proposals would exclude municipal employees.
Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition backed by Local 888, said that “the governor’s proposed amendments would deny Emergency Paid Sick Time benefits to municipal employees – workers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic response and deserve the same protections as private-sector workers.”
“The governor’s proposed amendments are unacceptable,” said Local 888 President Brenda Rodrigues. “During the COVID-19 crisis, workers should not be going in to work when they may have been exposed to the virus or may even be sickened by it.”
The coalition urged lawmakers “to move quickly to return legislation that covers all workers, including municipal employees, to the governor’s desk.” The coalition noted that the Legislature had unanimously passed the sick leave bill — which would allow all Massachusetts workers to access five days of emergency paid sick time for COVID-related sickness, quarantine, caregiving, and vaccination.
The state does have an Earned Sick Time law that was passed by the voters in 2014. Generally, it provides 40 hours of paid sick time yearly. The coalition said that, during the pandemic, often this Is simply not enough.
On the federal level, Congress has failed to renew mandates for paid sick time that were approved at the start of the pandemic. In addition, he mandates had many loopholes in the first place.