Sunday, March 31, 2013

NutterWatch: 4 Days to Affirm the Worth and Dignity of Philadelphians

On March 14, 2013, Philadelphia City Council passed a bill providing the opportunity for most workers in the city of Philadelphia to earn paid sick days. Mayor Michael Nutter has until April 4, 2013, to sign the bill into law or to let it leave his desk unsigned.

Either choice will pave the way for nearly 200,000 workers in Philadelphia to have access to earned sick days for the first time.

Until April 4, or until the Mayor signs the bill, NutterWatch will be here to give you the latest updates and to share the latest stories. To add your name to a petition asking Mayor Nutter to sign the bill, please click here.

As many people of faith are celebrating holidays during this time, it seems appropriate to look at the many religious and spiritual arguments in support of earned sick days gathered by our friends at Interfaith Worker Justice.
Biblical Quotes
  • “You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land.... You shall pay them their wages… because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them.” Deuteronomy 24:14-15
  • “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of your fellow.” Leviticus 19:16
  • “You shall restore it [life] to him.” Deuteronomy 22:2
  • “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
  • “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
  • “Come unto me all who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
The Talmud
  • “Has it not been taught: If one engages a laborer, and in the middle of the day he [the laborer] learns that he has suffered a bereavement, or is smitten with fever: then if he is a time worker, he must pay him his wages; if a contract worker, he must pay him his contract price.” --Babylonian Talmud, Baba Mezi’a, Chapter VI, Folio 77a-b
  • “If we turn our attention to the economic sphere, it is clear that man has a right by the natural law not only to an opportunity to work, but also to go about his work without coercion. To these rights is certainly joined the right to demand working conditions in which physical health is not endangered, morals are safeguarded, and young people’s normal development is not impaired.” --Pope John XXIII, Pacem en Terris
  • “Since economic activity is generally exercised through the combined labors of human beings, any way of organizing and directing that activity which would be detrimental to any worker would be wrong and inhuman. It too often happens, however, even in our day, that in one way or another workers are made slaves of their work. This situation can by no means be justified by so-called economic laws. The entire process of productive work, therefore, must be adapted to the needs of the person and to the requirements of his life, above all his domestic life.” --Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes
  • “For its part, society cannot fail to guarantee assistance to families that intend to commit themselves to nursing at home, sometimes for long periods, sick people…. The help of all active and responsible members of society is especially required for those institutions of specific assistance that require numerous specialized personnel and particularly expensive equipment.” --Pope Benedict XVI, Address on the theme “Close by the Incurable Sick Person and the Dying,” February 25, 2008
Unitarian Universalism
  • We affirm the worth and dignity of every individual, and thus affirm access to quality healthcare as a basic human right. It is the responsibility of the public--through government--to meet this and other basic human needs in a just, equitable, and compassionate manner. --The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

  • We should “serve God…and do good to…orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer that you meet, [and those who have nothing]. --Qur’an 4:36
You can show your support for earned sick days, religious or otherwise, by signing a petition in support at

In the News

The stories about earned sick days in New York City continue to dominate the news. If Mayor Nutter signs the earned sick days bill, Philadelphia could be next!

Where in the World is Mayor Nutter?

Mayor Nutter has nothing on his public calendar today.

You can find Mayor Nutter's daily schedule at

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