The Conversation About Secure Scheduling Is Heating Up

Over the weekend, the Seattle Times published an editorial by Steve Gordon, the CEO of a trucking company, that responded to a Seattle Times editorial by Civic Ventures founder Nick Hanauer about secure scheduling. Hanauer argued for a scheduling Golden Rule—you should schedule your employees as you would have them schedule you. Gordon argues that life is unpredictable, and employers can’t be expected to know exactly what kind of coverage they need. Weirdly, though, the two examples that Gordon uses as an example of why employers would need to call in their employees at odd hours—customers needing coffee at 5 am and additional packages needing delivery in December—are incredibly predictable situations. No matter how terrible the economy might be at any given moment, people will always need coffee in the morning and people always will mail packages at Christmas time. An employer who can’t predict those two demands is an employer who might need some help running their business.

It’s important to note that no secure scheduling law has been announced in Seattle yet; Seattle City Council members Lorena González and Lisa Herbold are looking at secure scheduling demands and haven’t come to any conclusions about legislation just yet. In fact, Herbold’s committee is hosting a work session with various labor experts tomorrow morning at 9:30 am. It’s safe to assume that any eventual secure scheduling law would allow for solutions to workers calling in sick, or a surprise increase in customer demand, or any of the other examples that Gordon and opponents are suggesting.

In the meantime, as lawmakers examine the issue, the latest episode of the Seattle Channel show City Inside/Out takes a look at secure scheduling, interviewing civic leaders, including Hanauer, on the issue. It’s well worth your time:

Comments

comments

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