Firefighters are grateful for public support
To the citizens of Philadelphia:
As you all know, this has been a very rough time for the members of our union. The men and women firefighters and paramedics of Local 22 have suffered a tragic loss. I am humbled by the outpouring of sympathy and support shown by you, the citizens of this great city.
Your generosity, kindness and empathy have had a profound impact on our members, and though we will be in mourning for some time, you have shown us all that the sacrifice these men made does not go unappreciated by you.
When we lose a member in the line of duty it is never easy. We chose a profession — no, a calling — where we go out each day to try and help our fellow citizens, and when we lose one of our own in the process, it really hits home. We are faced with the dangers of our profession day in and day out. We as firefighters and paramedics have answered the call to put ourselves in harm’s way to protect the lives and the property of our city.
One thing that we did not sign up for is to have the very city we have sworn to protect attempt to systematically cut the necessary resources it takes for our members to do their jobs in a manner that is not only safe for you the citizen, but for our members.
We appreciate all that you the citizens of Philadelphia have done for us. Your prayers and your kindness have helped us begin to heal. Remember that we are always there for you, and I will never forget how you have been there for us.
President, Local 22 IAFF
Parents of kids with autism need sick days
There is an idea circulating in City Council right now that holds special significance for me, and for many parents of autistic children. This idea, that all workers should have the ability to earn paid sick days, would give parents more opportunities to care for their children. All working parents face challenges, but to care for a special needs child, I need the flexibility to take a few sick days every year to care for my son.
Kids with autism spectrum disorders need more doctors’ medical appointments, more services and more participation from their parents. To give my son the support he needs, I have to meet regularly with specialists and participate in the planning process. Doctors’ offices don’t always operate around my work schedule, so it’s important for me to be able to take time off so I can work around their schedule.
My employer understands that health issues sometimes come up during working hours. She knows that the ability to take time off means that I have less to juggle so I’m more productive at the office. She would rather provide a few sick days than to have to hire and train someone new. For businesses that provide paid sick days, the lower turnover and lower hiring and training costs can more than offset the cost of a few absences every year.
But for too many families, the ability to earn sick days doesn’t exist. The families I feel for the most are the ones with young kids. Early detection of autism spectrum disorders is key to better outcomes, and signs of autism often begin to show up between ages 2 and 3. Yet working parents who can’t earn sick days are about twice as likely to delay medical care for a family member or forgo it altogether. Adults who can’t take time off work are also more likely to take their kids to the emergency room for medical care — and we all end up paying for that. That hurts all of us.
The economy is hard for families right now, and it’s a tough time to lose a job. We can promote healthier workplaces and create job security for families by ensuring all workers can earn paid sick days. The bill being discussed in City Council involves a very small number of days that workers can earn: one hour of sick time for every 40 hours on the job, and the ability to use up to seven earned sick days a year at most.
In Philadelphia, more than 200,000 people are working without the benefit of paid sick days. They are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, grandmas and grandpas, sisters, brothers, uncles and aunts. The ability to take a day off from work without loss of income or the risk of losing a job, means that parents — and anyone caring for an ill family member — can feel secure giving their loved ones the care they need.
Love Your Moms
Give back the nights Mom admired,
She didn’t sleep because of us,
Give her a rest, her eyes are tired
From tears that she shed not once.
Give back to Mom all those years,
When she was suffering and fought
For all misfortunes, all your failures,
For dreams that were not still got.
Prolong your mom the joy, pleasure
Of love, contact with every, all,
Prolong her days on old age,
Present her gladness, even small.
Speak your mind …
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