Category: Media Advisory

Workers, Advocates Announce Introduction of Paid Sick Days Ordinance

Workers, Advocates Announce Introduction of Paid Sick Days Ordinance

Coalition and legislators call for swift action by City Council


Media Advisory for Wednesday April 13th, 2016



Adam Kader, Worker Center Director, Arise Chicago

773-937-1826 |


What: The Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition and aldermen announce introduction of a paid sick days ordinance covering all workers in the city.

Who: Working Families Task Force Co-Chairs Ald. Ameya Pawar and Anne Ladky, Women Employed; chief ordinance sponsor, Ald. Toni Foulkes; Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition organization members; low-wage and union workers; small business owners

When: Wednesday, April 13th at 9am

Where: City Hall 2nd floor

Why: The City’s Working Families Task Force recently released its report with recommendations for paid sick days legislation. The Coalition calls on Chicago legislators to move toward swift passage after an ordinance is introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.



The Earned Sick Time Chicago coalition formed in 2013 in order to win the basic benefit of paid sick time for all workers. In the city’s 2015 election, 82% of Chicagoans supported the idea of mandatory paid sick days.


The Coalition readily welcomed the release of the long-anticipated report by the City of Chicago’s Working Families Task Force report, and its recommendation for guaranteed paid sick day legislation for Chicago’s workforce.


A paid sick days ordinance would directly impact nearly half of all private sector workers in Chicago who currently lack access to such a benefit. An ordinance would mean that workers no longer need to literally choose between their health and their job. A paid sick days ordinance would also mean that, in many workplaces, such as any related to food production or service, the public’s health would be protected.


A Chicago ordinance would allow the city to catch up with the 5 states and 22 cities with such a policy, including New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, and Pittsburgh.


Below is from the Working Families Task Force Executive Summary:

Paid Sick Leave

The Task Force recommended a framework that would provide workers with paid sick leave while having a nominal impact on employer costs. This proposal would:

  • Allow workers to accrue and use up to 5 earned sick days over the course of 1 year.
  • Workers would earn sick time at a rate of 1 hour earned for every 40 hours worked. This approach ensures that employees earn and accrue sick time at a proportional rate based on hours worked.
  • Accrued sick leave could be used by new employees after an initial 6-month probationary period.
  • Allow employees to roll over up to 2.5 unused sick days to the following year.
  • Exempt employers that offer combined leave benefits such as Paid Time Off (PTO) from these requirements as long as employees could accrue and use up to 5 days of PTO within a calendar year.
  • This framework would not require the pay out of unused sick days by the employer and it would also exempt sick leave benefits that are negotiated as part of a collective bargaining agreement.


The Earned Sick Time Chicago Coalition includes:

Arise Chicago, Restaurant Opportunities Center – Chicago, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881, Women Employed

Action Now, Between Friends, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Chicago Foundation for Women, Chicago National Organization for Women, EverThrive Illinois, Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, Jobs with Justice, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, National Council of Jewish Women –  IL State Policy Advocacy Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Lawyers Association – IL, ONE Northside, ParentsWork, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Rape Victim Advocates, OUR Walmart, Women Employed, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, AFSCME Council 31, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, Chicago Teachers Union, Illinois Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 21, Illinois Education Association Region 67, Illinois Federation of Teachers, National Nurses United, Pride at Work Chicago, SEIU Doctors Council, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, SEIU Local 73, Teamsters 743, Teamsters 777, United Auto Workers Region 4, United Auto Workers Local 2320, United Steelworkers District 7,UFCW Local 1546, Unite-Here Local 1, Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago/Fight for $15, Workers United



Dozens of Domestic Workers Travel to Springfield as IL Senate Votes on State’s First Bill of Rights

MEDIA ADVISORY for Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Media Contacts:

Jorge Mújica (Spanish, English) | 773-844-9910

Marzena Zukowska (English, Polish, Spanish) | 708-990-0389 | @MarzenaZukowska


Dozens of Domestic Workers Travel to Springfield as IL Senate Votes on State’s First Bill of Rights


Press Conference on Wednesday after Senate Votes on HB1288

Pre-interviews with speakers available.


What: Press conference immediately after the Senate votes on Illinois’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (HB1288).


When: Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 1pm or immediately after the Senate vote.


Where: Blue Room, Room #010, Capitol Building, Springfield, IL.


Who: Organizations part of Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition, including Latino Union, Arise

Chicago, and AFIRE. Domestic workers, including nannies, housekeepers, and home care workers, from Latino, Filipino, and Polish communities; families who employ domestic workers; faith and labor leaders.Speakers include:

Representative Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero)

Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago)

Magdalena Zylinska, Arise Chicago, worker leader

Maria Esther Bolaños, Latino Union, worker leader

Gloria Key, AFIRE, worker leader

Reverend CJ Hawking, Executive Director, Arise Chicago

James Povijua, Illinois Campaign Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance


Visuals: Women with larger banners and posters; dressed in red/yellow Illinois Coalition t-shirts.


(Springfield, IL) — On Wednesday, April 13, the Senate will vote to extend basic employment protections to domestic workers through the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (HB1288), the first legislation of its in kind in the state and one that has already passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero), will guarantee housekeepers, nannies, and home care workers across the state with minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment, and for those who work over 20 hours per a week for an employer, an assurance of a day off.


While federal law has since been amended, workers in most states are still not covered by basic workplace protections, a result of 80-year historic exclusions dating back to the Fair Labor Standards Act.


“To support my family, I have gone to work on days that I was sick, worried that otherwise, I would not be able to pay for my mortgage,” said Magdalena Zylinska, a housekeeper from Illinois and Board Member of Arise Chicago. “The Bill of Rights would help women like me receive the same protections as other workers, and would give employers proper guidelines.”


“My own negative experiences on the job and those of other domestic workers have motivated me to keep organizing,” said Gloria Key, a careworker from Illinois and member of AFIRE. “ I have been to Springfield many times to advocate for the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and I hope that this time, we can leave the state capitol with a victory.”


“When I started cleaning houses, I received only $40 for 8 hours of work per day — way below the state minimum wage,” said Maria-Esther Bolaños, housekeeper from Illinois and member of Latino Union. “The Bill of Rights will open all of society, employers and domestic workers, to more just information about rights and pay. And my hope is that it will serve as a model for other states.”


The passage of HB1288 would make Illinois the 7th state in the United States to extend rights to domestic workers, joining Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, and Hawaii.


The Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition is powered by three local organizations, Latino Union, AFIRE, and Arise Chicago, as well as domestic workers, advocacy/community groups, workers centers, and others allies seeking to pass a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in Illinois. The Coalition is supported by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. For more information, please visit:

On Anniversary of King’s Death, Clergy Call on Springfield to Resolve State Worker Contract Negotiations

Clergy Call for Resolution to State Employee Contract Negotiations

On anniversary of Dr. King’s Death, faith leaders call for mediation and arbitration

to uphold MLK’s legacy

Media Advisory for Monday, April 4th 2016

Contact: Shelly Ruzicka, Arise Chicago

773-251-5003 |

WHO: Religious leaders with Arise Chicago and state employees

WHAT: Religious leaders call on governor and state legislators for mediation and arbitration in state worker contract negotiations

WHERE: Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, 1st floor sanctuary

WHEN: Monday, April 4th at 10:00 AM

On the 48th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis while supporting sanitation workers, religious leaders from around Chicagoland will join with state employees to release an open letter addressed to Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly. Signed by over 150 faith leaders from around the state, clergy call for swift resolution to contract negotiations. Like Illinois state employees, the Memphis sanitation workers supported by King were members of AFSCME.

Faith leaders are concerned about the potentially life-threatening consequences to families that rely on state services and to state workers who provide those services if the current approach of conflict and confrontation continues. To avoid disruption of vital state services and the imposition of harsh terms on state employees, clergy urge Governor Rauner and state legislators to move forward through mediation and arbitration to resolve contract issues.

Clergy and state workers will give statements and be available for interview.



Hotel Workers Protest Wage Theft, Resist Eviction Notice

Hotel Workers Protest Wage Theft, Resist Eviction Notice
Former & Current Marshall Hotel Workers Demand Proper Pay, Personnel Policy, and Protection from Retaliation
WHAT:  Current and former workers of the Marshall Hotel SRO, who are also tenants there, lead a delegation and demonstration, calling for “a new era” at the Marshall with fair payment, a personnel policy, and protection from eviction or any other form of retaliation
WHEN:    Wednesday, February 24th, 1:00 PM
WHERE:  Marshall Hotel, 1232 N. Lasalle St., Chicago, IL
WHO:    Marshall Hotel tenants and workers, joined by Arise Chicago and other supporters  *Workers and tenants will be available for interviews
WHY:  The N.E.W. Era Committee of former and current workers of the Marshall Hotel, a near north side SRO, denounce problems in the workplace, which is also their place of residence.  On February 19th, Committee member Nicole Bell received a 5-day eviction notice, which she alleges is in retaliation for her organizing.
The Committee protests payroll irregularities that result in wage theft ,as well as unpaid overtime hours. It additionally calls for “a new era” at the Hotel, which would include the enactment of a personnel policy that outlines terms and conditions of employment, a workplace free of verbal disrespect, access to their personnel files, and freedom from retaliation.
Ms. Bell, a former employee of the Marshall, lost her employment in December 2014, shortly after organizing with fellow tenants.  She and other members of the Committee will lead a delegation of supporters to gain hotel management’s commitment to meet their demands.
Shelly Ruzicka, Arise Chicago

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