October 2007 News from Policy Matters Ohio: Policy Events, Paid Sick Days, and Piet

- October 20, 2007

Energizing Event – Don’t miss the Midwest Conference on Labor in the New Energy Economy, which will provide union members and leaders with tools to help create a clean, job-producing economy. The North Shore Federation of Labor, the Ohio Apollo Alliance, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, and Policy Matters sponsor this first-of-its-kind event, at the Cleveland City Centre Crowne Plaza on October 22 and 23. Confirmed speakers include Ohio’s Energy Adviser Mark Shanahan, Apollo Alliance President Jerome Ringo, Blue Green Alliance Director and Steelworker David Foster, Cleveland labor leader Harriet Applegate and others. Join us to learn about green job training, clean energy investments, sustainable buildings and more.

A Healthy Standard – Many Ohio employers provide paid sick days, because they recognize that it is better for their customers, clients, workforce and productivity. But 2.2 million Ohio workers can not take a paid day off when they are sick, and 3.3 million can not take a paid day to care for a sick child or parent. A Healthy Standard examines a proposal to let Ohio employees earn up to seven paid sick days a year and finds that it will help ensure that those serving our food, caring for our children, and standing across the checkout counter from us are not contagious.

Welcome Wagon – We’re thrilled to welcome Piet van Lier as a new Senior Researcher, focused on education. Piet was most recently a Deputy Editor at Catalyst Cleveland, which reports on the Cleveland public schools. Piet, who has previously been a journalist, photographer, teacher, and human rights monitor, brings excellent writing and editing skills, substantive knowledge of education issues, a deep commitment to economic and social justice and an easygoing style to his new position. Learn more about Piet and the rest of us here.

You might have missed – The State of Working Ohio, released on Labor Day, found staggering increases in inequality; low job growth; rising productivity, hours and education; slight wage increases; modest progress on disparities; and slight unemployment declines. And that’s just the good news. The report concludes with recommendations to innovate in five areas where other states have bypassed us: investing in the future, creating more opportunity, constructing on-ramps to the middle class, building and protecting people’s assets and retaining strong public structures.

Would you pay 391% for a short term loan? – Attend The Perils of Payday Lending: How it Affects the Community and What We Can Do About It to talk about it with David Rothstein, Len Calabrese, Tom Allio and Jerome Walcott in University Heights at 7pm on October 29th.  Click here for more information, and to learn more about payday lending, read our report, Trapped in Debt: The Growth of Payday Lending in Ohio.


Paying attention? If you clicked on the links in this report, you should be able to answer this simple quiz:

1. Is it too late to register for the fabulous conference on labor in the new energy economy?
2. How much could be saved if all eligible Ohio workers were guaranteed the ability to earn paid sick days?
3. How much more are families with children working than in the past?
4. On what boards of directors do Policy Matters Ohio staffers serve?
5. What is the interest rate on a payday loan in Ohio?

Click here for the answers.

That’s all!
The Policy Matters Ohio Team 



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