Barrett calls in sick on referendum

Mayor Tom Barrett opposes the referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot to require paid sick leave, saying it would make the city uncompetitive. It’s a federal issue, he says.

As a good faith gesture to show he wants to make Milwaukee more competitive, Barrett agrees that he and other members of his administration will give up their 15 days of sick leave a year, so the money can go to keep libraries open and shelter the homeless.

Tim Sheehey of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Assn. of Commerce, a leading opponent of the paid sick leave idea, said he and the MMAC staff would quit taking any paid sick days, too.

What’s that? Barrett and Sheehy didn’t say that second part? What a surprise.

As Dominique Noth at the Milwaukee Area Labor Council said:

That’s one of the ironies of this whole thing. It’s too easy for those who have paid sick days to argue it’s too costly to give it to those who don’t, and it’s silly to argue that our conscience should wait until the US Congress decides.

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