Now that we know we have some family-friendlier faces in our state legislature (which is excellent, excellent news), we’re looking ahead to the 2015 legislative session where we have the opportunity to partner with our legislators to pass some strong, family-friendly policies. Policies Oregon families desperately need – like paid sick time, equal pay for equal work for women and mothers and people of color, and a more secure retirement (especially for women who retire poorer than men).
But before we jump all the way into 2015, we want to share some recent wins and a few fun events we have planned between now and year’s end. And we always like to share a statement that inspired us — which we hope, in turn, will inspire you. This time it’s President Obama, speaking to a group at Rhode Island College in late October about the economy and what women need to flourish more within it:
So, while many women are working hard to support themselves and their families, they’re still facing unfair choices, outdated workplace policies. We have to do better because women deserve better. And by the way, when women do well, everybody does well.
His comments echo much of what House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has been advocating in her “When Women Succeeds, America Succeeds” recent policy work, which you’ll hear more about below!
- Upcoming Events | Film Screening (11/10) + Work-Flex Awards Luncheon (11/20)
- Paid Sick Time in Eugene | We did it!
- Nancy Pelosi Inspired Us in Portland | When Women Succeed, America Succeeds
- In Our Own Words | Remove barriers to success for women + families in the Statesman Journal
- We Won an Award! | Thanks to OPHA for naming us a 2014 “Policy Champion”
- Required Reading | Untenable Work Schedules + Who Works Where (And Who Cares?)
- Follow us on Facebook | It’s the best way to stay current
1 | Upcoming Events | Film Screening + Work-Flex Awards Luncheon
- Film Screening: On Monday, November 10th we hope you’ll join us for a film screening of The Raising of America, a new documentary series about the challenges of raising a family and America and the negative impacts on our children. Our Executive Director, Andrea Paluso, will be on the panel after the film to discuss our country’s lack of paid family leave and other outdated work-family policies that create barriers for families. Details here. PLEASE KNOW that tickets are now available ONLY at the door, which opens at 6 PM.
- Awards Luncheon: On Thursday, November 20th we are honored to present 18 Oregon employers with a national 2014 When Work Works award for their flexible and family-friendly workplace practices. Three of these winners made the national Top 25 list! Find out who they are and join us for this inspiring awards lunch — where you’ll learn a thing or two about how to run a seriously great place to work.
- Holiday Celebration: On Wednesday evening, December 17th we’ll gather at Hatch (our shared office space in NE Pdx) for drinks, mingling, and a quick look back at what we accomplished together in 2014 and what we’re planning to accomplish in 2015! Mark your calendars!
2 | Paid Sick Time in Eugene | We did it!
Just 16 months after the Portland City Council passed a protected sick time policy, the Eugene City Council passed its own, stronger policy that will become effective on July 1, 2015. We had the pleasure of working with some incredible council members and fellow Eugene advocates during that campaign, including a group of powerful young people from the Latino community and a bunch of impressive employers who spoke up time and again for universal paid sick time.
3 | Nancy Pelosi Inspired Us in Portland | When Women Succeed, America Succeeds!
We are still tickled that someone we hold in such high esteem as U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined us in Portland for a joint event with some incredible Oregon leaders and advocates about women’s economic security. Leader Pelosi has been a true groundbreaker when it comes to advancing women’s economic opportunity and raising up for public debate and action several of the top issues that really matter to women and the families who increasingly depend on them every day: equal pay, higher wages, and affordable childcare.
4 | In Our Own Words | Remove barriers to success for women + families in the Statesman Journal
Our Executive Director, Andrea Paluso, co-wrote a Guest Opinion piece (before the Nov. 4 election) with Heather Conroy, the Executive Director of SEIU Local 503, to raise awareness around the significant daily barriers women and working families are facing as they try to meet the competing demands of work, caregiving, and family finances. They suggest that what women need is a fair shot to get ahead, not just get by. Here’s an excerpt – you can read the whole piece here:
“The reality is that women and working families in Oregon are up against a stacked deck that creates barriers to their achieving financial security. Removing those barriers to make sure every Oregonian has a fair shot at financial stability and success should be a priority for all of us.
The policies that govern work and wages and caregiving weren’t designed with single parents and working families in mind. Too many workers don’t have access to workplace policies such as paid sick time. This means if they get sick or need to care for a sick child, they lose a day’s pay, or in some cases, even risk their jobs.”
5 | We Won an Award! | Thanks to OPHA for naming us a 2014 “Policy Champion”
We’re very proud to win this award presented by the Oregon Public Health Association this fall. The award is for “a person or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to advancing public health policy in Oregon.” While we are thrilled to accept, we want to also recognize, in turn, the many partners in our sick days coalition who were right there by our side. We couldn’t have accomplished what we did without them.
6 | Required Reading | 1 Article + 1 Guest Opinion + 1 Book
We read a lot of articles and books about work-family policy and are grateful to see so many these days in so many different publications for different audiences. For each quarterly newsletter we choose a few that really stood out, either because the topic is so relevant to our work or the lens was unique and worth getting more eyes on. This time we’re sharing an article on unsustainable work scheduling practices, a Guest Opinion by Congresswoman Bonamici, and a book on the “new world of work” for managers.
“But Ms. Navarro’s fluctuating hours, combined with her limited resources, had also turned their lives into a chronic crisis over the clock. She rarely learned her schedule more than three days before the start of a workweek, plunging her into urgent logistical puzzles over who would watch the boy. Months after starting the job she moved out of her aunt’s home, in part because of mounting friction over the erratic schedule, which the aunt felt was also holding her family captive. Ms. Navarro’s degree was on indefinite pause because her shifting hours left her unable to commit to classes. She needed to work all she could, sometimes counting on dimes from the tip jar to make the bus fare home. If she dared ask for more stable hours, she feared, she would get fewer work hours over all.”
“The status quo for working mothers is not sustainable. Mothers are faced with impossible choices, and too many are struggling to give their children what they need without jeopardizing their jobs. As more women serve as breadwinners for their family, our policies need to help them advance — not restrict their opportunity to succeed.”
Who Works Where [and Who Cares?] is a practical, hands-on book by the folks at Life Meets Work that shows managers how to boost collaboration and performance even when their teams don’t work together in the same time or space. Designed for flexible, virtual, and dispersed work teams, Who Works Where is an interactive tool that managers can start using immediately to increase their skills and establish team norms for this new age of work.