The City of Eugene, Oregon, is considering a sick leave ordinance modeled on the ordinance Portland passed last year.
Eugene City Council has held several work sessions on the concept, and in April appointed a task force to gather information. The task force met May 8 for the first time and will report back to City Council in mid-June. It has representatives of business, and two representatives from labor: United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 staff director Kevin Billman, and Painters Local 1277 business representative Pat Smith, who is also secretary-treasurer of the Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas Building Trades Council. Eugene mayor Kitty Piercy led the kickoff meeting of the task force, which also includes Eugene City Council members Claire Syrett and Alan Zelenka.
Lili Hoag, Policy Director for the group Family Forward Oregon, said there appears to be majority support on Eugene City Council for an ordinance.
On April 28, about 40 Eugene residents turned out to City Council for what she described as a “show of gratitude.” One worker told City Council about his experience recovering from surgery without the help of his wife, who had no paid sick days. Behind him stood eight activists holding petitions from each of the eight City Council wards. The petitions, signed by over 3,200 Eugenians, were gathered in a door-to-door canvass by Oregon Working Families Party.