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Failed Sick Leave Bill Still Haunts Councilman

Supporters of mandated paid sick leave were disappointed in the mayor's veto. (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Supporters of mandated paid sick leave were disappointed in the mayor’s veto. (Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Last week, the New York City Council approved mandatory paid sick leave.

This brings a sickening feeling to the Philadelphia councilman who tried, but failed to get the measure approved here.

In April, Councilman at large Bill Greenlee came up just one vote short of the 12 votes he needed to override Mayor Michael Nutter’s veto of his earned sick leave bill.

In New York, the measure had enough support on that council to withstand Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s expected veto.

Greenlee says he’s thrilled for New York, but disappointed that Philadelphia did not take the lead.

“I think it’s unfortunate for the 180,000 workers (who) are not going to be able to get what I think is a very reasonable benefit in Philadelphia,” Greenlee said.

Greenlee says those council members who voted ‘no’ are unlikely to change, so he will not be pushing earned sick leave again anytime soon.

“I’m not sure if at this point, in talking to members who did not support it, if making little changes, like making it exactly like New York, or exactly like some other city, would make a difference. Most of them just seem to indicate a problem with the policy in general,” Greenlee said.

New York’s measure is expected to bring sick leave to one million workers who are now without it.

Bloomberg, like Nutter, says many businesses can’t afford it, and the measure may end up costing the jobs of workers who the bill is designed to help.