Mayor Ed Murray Makes the Case for Secure Scheduling in Seattle

Mayor Ed Murray delivers the State of the City address.

Mayor Ed Murray delivers the State of the City address.

Readers of this blog know that I care deeply about secure scheduling laws, which ensure that employees will be able to predict their schedules in advance and be fairly compensated for their time. We’ve seen that Seattle City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Lorena González, and Debora Juarez have vowed to advance the cause of secure scheduling in Seattle. Civic Ventures founder Nick Hanauer has made the case for a “scheduling Golden Rule.” And yesterday in his State of the City Address, Mayor Ed Murray demonstrated his support for secure scheduling in a big way. Here’s the relevant passage from the transcript (PDF):

Part of our affordability agenda is ensuring all people get paid fairly. As a first step, we committed to increasing our minimum wage, which in particular will help woman and people of color who are disproportionately represented among low-wage workers.

Also, we know that having a secure schedule of hours helps workers plan their budget, plan for childcare, enroll in school or take a second job – and we know schedule predictability will most help low-wage hourly workers.

This year, we will work with labor, our community of progressive employers, and this Council, especially Councilmembers González and Herbold, to provide new guidelines for secure scheduling for larger employers.

This show of support from Mayor Murray has arrived at just the right time. He’s clearly made the case for a scheduling Golden Rule. Secure schedules help employees plan their time so they can be better involved as citizens and neighbors and workers, and it will give them the tools they need to improve their own futures, so they can go back to school and start their own businesses and become the employers of tomorrow. Mayor Murray’s support indicates that Seattle’s leaders are coming together to work on this proposal. We’ll be hearing a lot about secure scheduling in the days and weeks to come.

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Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.