Sick of ‘don’t get sick’ policy
We all have days when we can’t perform, when our bodies say “enough is enough.” But our public policy reflects a different reality, one that excludes human vulnerability to illness. Employers choose whether or not paid sick days are given and under what conditions.
Why are paid sick days important? It comes down to choice. A decision between jeopardizing your health and getting the bills paid is not a choice; it leaves only one option. Many people simply cannot afford to take time off, forcing them to abandon their health needs, or that of their family. Paid sick days offer a real choice: the ability to take time to recover without financial penalty. People of Vermont are struggling to meet their basic needs, forced to go to work, risking their health and the health of others, just to keep food on the table, a roof over their head, and heat in their homes. The time for change is now — this legislative session.
Low-income families are threatened each day that Vermont’s public policy fails to acknowledge our human rights in the workplace. Our public policy is essentially “don’t get sick.” But everyone gets sick. The decision to take time can no longer be left up to employers. Dignity at work is a having a choice without fear of losing a critical paycheck or manager retaliation. The decision to take time off needs to be our decision because it is our bodies, and caring for them is our right as opposed to an employer-chosen privilege.
Join the movement: Support the passage of legislation that will fulfill our needs while also protecting that of our families and communities. Demand paid sick days in 2014.Kate Maguire Essex .
In support of single-payer health care reform
While details regarding the transition to a single-payer health care system remain, we cannot forget the benefits of these changes. The Vermont Republican State Committee resolved that Vermont’s health care exchange should be optional and provide more insurance options. While the traditional arguments of market-based health care are present, the abuse of Vermont citizens by insurance companies remains unquestioned.
Not only are current health insurance costs unaffordable, but it is also essential that all Vermonters have equitable access to health benefits. For-profit health care is not only immoral, but also unsustainable. With a single-payer system, Vermonters can insure affordability, transparency and mandatory coverage for essential benefits, including dental care, which 70,000 adult Vermonters currently can’t afford.
Private insurance companies are unnecessary middlemen in our health care system, and a transition to single-payer is the solution needed to remedy these injustices. By democratically working with our state representatives, we can ensure the transition to a single-payer health care system is completed with as few petty objections as possible.
The United States remains the only developed nation with privatized health care, and we must continue leading our country toward a public, more equitable system.Trevor Madore Colchester .
Gratitude in pink
The Essex High School basketball community would like to thank everyone who made the EHS girls’ basketball Pink Zone game/fundraiser a tremendous success.
From the balloons that set the pink mood, donated by Hannaford Grocery, to the Pink Pep band, led by Josh Pauley, to Maria Ung’s 50 pink-clad cheerleaders, to the pink adorned student section that had fantastic supporters, to the 75 pink-laced basketball players who played three great games — we thank you.
We thank the EHS bowling team for its generous donation, and we thank Paul Lamontagne of Vermont Sports Images, for the second straight year, for giving the largest individual donation. Paul also provided his professional support with photography of the games and of the prized Pink Zone team picture.
Thanks to Rice Memorial as they joined us as fundraiser partners, and kudos to Rice’s Lisa Barron for organizing everything for the Green Knights.
Thanks to all who purchased the pink necklaces and to those who sent in donations. Those individual $5 donations add up! When all the accounting is done, the EHS Pink Zone basketball will be able to write a $3,000 check to the Breast Care Center at Fletcher Allen.Jay and Judy Brady Essex