Sick employees should stay home
I have a good spin on the swine flu epidemic. Hopefully, it will make us clean up our social act so that transmission of contagious diseases is significantly impeded.
While there are likely many issues that could be addressed in this regard, I wish to focus on one: vacation leave or sick days. Apparently it is quite common in labor agreements for workers to use sick days as vacation time. I know for certain that this happens at state agencies, and suspect it is systemic in the workplace where unions have negotiated settlements.
The problem with this approach is that the workers then quickly develop this awareness that taking a sick day because they might really be ill will eliminate a day from their vacation time. This leads to a situation where workers with fevers still go to work because they don’t want to shorten their vacations.
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This is exactly the opposite of what we want to be promoting when trying to address pandemic diseases like the swine flu. Indeed, the single most significant, simple thing that everyone can do is stay home if you are sick. The flu does not spread itself. We do that for it.
Enabling a situation where people would chose to go to work sick rather than lose a day of vacation is exactly what the swine flu needs to maximize its impact. I know no one can really do it, but eliminating worker vacation use of sick days would be a healthy choice.
STEVE SHANEWISE, Olympia
Kingsbury puts public safety first
I have had the pleasure of working alongside Jeff Kingsbury at Capital Playhouse for the last several years. During that time I have had the opportunity to witness the passion he has for the community that we all choose to live in.
Kingsbury loves this city and works tirelessly for many local charities, raising more than $3 million last year alone.
He has the leadership skills, commitment and experience we need on the Olympia City Council.
Kingsbury has kept public safety a priority and will continue to work for smart planning and careful balance for the city of Olympia.
Jeff Kingsbury deserves your vote.
CATHIE SHAUGHNESSY, Olympia
Kingsbury has gift to assess potential
Potential is defined as something or someone that is considered a worthwhile possibility. The example for “something” will be an abandoned building; for “someone” a child.
The example building really was “something” — an eyesore. Located outside the business core, there were few that realized any potential for that site, except Jeff Kingsbury.
He was delighted. Kingsbury saw a future theater site that developed over the years into the multi-faceted Capital Playhouse it is today. The neighborhood changed; restaurants and small businesses opened.
The example child really was “someone” — someone special — my son, Richie.
Richie was born with disabilities that made volitional speech rare. So what was his potential?
Jeff Kingsbury urged me to enroll Richie in a summer musical with his brothers. It was hard not to laugh. Richie kept you on your toes, as Kingsbury found out later. But what everyone found out, and Kingsbury already knew, was that Richie and all the other children in that summer musical discovered new potential about themselves and each other.
Neither example involves a complicated political platform. It involves the ability to assess potential, giving everyone a fair shot, and lots of hard work. To see potential in something or someone means you hold it valuable. It becomes a worthwhile possibility. When leaders act with these principles in mind, good will follow.
Jeff Kingsbury has the incredible gift to assess potential. He sees Olympia’s potential for human and economic growth. Vote for Jeff Kingsbury in November for the Olympia City Council.
MARY LINDBERG, Olympia
Replace incumbents on Lacey City Council
As citizens we should expect our elected officials, at the very least, to do well at ensuring adequate emergency services. On that, the Lacey City Council has shown a lack of understanding and knowledge relative to basic operational fire department issues and it has become painfully clear that fire department management is not a strong skill-set for them.
Furthermore, they’ve approached the fire department issue with an overly political, not practical perspective, a general lack of interest in the opinion of the community as a whole, and a lack of humility in listening to people knowledgeable in fire department issues.
Even now, after a pair of silly and costly studies, they seem reluctant to admit what should be obvious to them by way of common sense and the experience of communities across the country: It is less efficient overall to divide resources into separate smaller fire departments. This is why in this county, state and all over the country combining fire resources is the trend, not separating/dividing resources.
As a citizen within the city, I would like to see the city of Lacey annexed into Lacey Fire District 3, effectively removing the fire department from the hands of the City Council, enabling the fire department to do its job, and giving city voters a voice in their own emergency services. Let fire department managers manage the fire department and let the City Council manage sidewalks and traffic cameras and pretty parks.
Oh, and let’s replace the incumbents while we’re at it.
MIKE JOHNSON, Lacey