In August, Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) joined the coalition that is conducting a ballot initiative campaign to guarantee that all Nebraska workers can accrue paid sick leave. Members of the coalition include Nebraska Appleseed, Women’s Fund, ACLU of Nebraska, the Arc of Nebraska, and Nebraska Civic Engagement Table. If the petition is successful, then the initiative will appear on the November 2024 ballot.
Our Social Justice Committee requested that the Board allow members to collect petition signatures at church, and the Board granted its approval. We started collecting signatures Sunday, September 24th.
Why are we supporting this initiative? Under our First (The inherent worth and dignity of every person) and Second (Justice, equity and compassion in human relations) Principles, we strive to advocate for fair and equal treatment of all employees in Nebraska’s workforce. It’s often the lowest paid and minority workers who are denied the right to paid sick leave and are forced to show up for work when ill or need to care for an ill family member. As we clearly learned during the Covid-19 Epidemic, employees should not be forced to show up for work when ill or face the loss of income or even their job.
We plan to invite a guest speaker for an evening gathering in early December to explain the merits of the Paid Sick Leave Initiative and why it’s important for Nebraska. Watch for announcement with the date and time.
If the petition drive is successful, then we will promote voter education for the initiative in the November 2024 election.