“SCCA is my way to give back and help grow our local business community, which is key to keeping Seward as a sustainable neighborhood.”
SCCA Member: Tracy Singleton, Birchwood Café

City Changes Course in Workplace Regulations Debate

See SCCA’s October Post for background on this issue.

Mayor Delays Scheduling Requirements
After weeks of vocal opposition by the Minneapolis business community to the City proposed Working Families Agenda, Mayor Betsy Hodges announced on October 5th that implementation of the controversial ‘Fair Scheduling’ regulations would be dropped from the current push to implement new workplace regulations. The Mayor stated:

“When it comes to fair, predictable scheduling, I have heard from many people, including many business owners, that the issue is complicated and that more time is needed to engage in this important issue….For this reason, I am announcing today that I am moving forward with the agenda to ensure earned sick and safe time and to protect against wage theft, and that for now, fair scheduling policies will not be the focus of the work.”

 Read more about the scheduling issue in this StarTribune article.

SCCA Board Engagement
In response to the City’s Working Families Agenda proposals, on October 14 the SCCA Board of Directors drafted and delivered a letter to city staff and Councilmembers Cam Gordon and Abdi Warsame. The letter stated, in part:

“We understand the desire to improve working conditions for all employees in our community. These proposals if adopted will have many unintended consequences that are not good for either the employees or employers. The proposal paints the entire business community with a broad brush to address problems with a few businesses.

The proposals under consideration would insert the city of Minneapolis into the daily operations of thousands of businesses in our community that are not covered by a union contract. The proposals if implemented have a drastic impact on the daily operations of many of our businesses and also add unfunded additional costs.

As we discuss this issue with businesses throughout Seward we have found that many businesses are still not aware of the proposals. In particular many immigrant businesses are unaware of the proposals, as no outreach in languages other than English has been done, to our knowledge. When information regarding the proposals is shared the reaction is strongly negative.

We ask that you help change this discussion from its current direction of creating a new ordinance that forces unworkable operational and cost costs to a positive one that can work for all businesses and their employees and does not involve the city council in the day to day operations of the businesses in Seward.”

The Next Step: Workplace Regulations Partnership
As a result of pushback from many local businesses and business associations, including SCCA, Lake Street Council and Longfellow Business Association, on October 30 the City Council established a 15-member “partnership group to study the impact of policy proposals related to workplace regulations on earned sick time and paid time off.” The Workplace Regulations Partnership will consist of employee, organized labor, business and business group representatives. “The partnership group is directed to engage the community in the development of its recommended policy proposals through focus groups, listening sessions, and similar practices and may consult subject-matter experts in the course of its study.” The group’s final policy proposals on earned sick time and paid time off will be presented to the City Council by February 24, 2016.

All Minneapolis employers are invited to attend the November 17 SCCA Forum on Workplace Regulations to stay informed and learn more about these significant workplace proposals. SCCA members are encouraged to reach out and invite a neighbor business to attend. Presenters at this informational forum include Jim Welna, owner of Welna II Hardware & Paint and current SCCA Board member; and Allison Sharkey, Executive Director of Lake Street Council.

 

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