On the heels of Christine Quinn announcing that she will shelve the Paid-Sick Leave bill that has been a major priority of the Working Families Party, unions, and progressives, her fellow presumed rivals for the 2013 mayoralty are out with statements supportive of the legislation and implicitly knocking the Speaker.
“No New Yorker should ever have to choose between their pay check and their family’s health,” said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. “I remain convinced that there is room for a compromise that could satisfy the concerns of workers and small businesses. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the City Council to protect the health and livelihood of hardworking New Yorkers, and see this bill passed.”
And Sharon Lee, a spokeswoman for Comptroller John Liu, sent along the following: “Comptroller Liu supports paid sick leave for all New Yorkers that ensures protections against employee abuse and protections for small businesses.”
The scuttlebutt in recent days has been that it is likely that a compromise of some sort would be reached, but in prepared remarks delivered today, Quinn said she was unable to find common ground at the moment.
“We were unable to satisfy the core values of those supporting this bill, while also protecting our most vulnerable small business owners,” she said. In an ideal world, we’d be able to provide all benefits to every New Yorker. In a better economy, we might have the financial freedom to both expand benefits and create new jobs. But that’s not the reality we live in.”
The Politicker has spoken with several members of the city’s labor coalition, many of whom seemed furious that Quinn, once seen as a die-hard liberal, would turn her back on them at a critical hour.
“This says a lot about who she wants to be in 2013,” says one. “Not a west-side progressive but the fourth term of Mayor Bloomberg.”
Scott Stringer emails over the following statement, one which echoes De Blasio and Liu and that calls Paid Sick Leave “a right.”
“Paid sick leave is now a right in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – it ought to be a right in New York City. It is unfortunate that negotiations couldn’t produce a compromise acceptable to all sides. I am committed to playing a constructive role as this debate moves forward. No working New Yorker should be looked in the eye and told that her health is a luxury she can’t afford, or one this city can’t protect.”