Government is bureaucratic and slow. This goes without saying. But it also fails to keep up with reality. After all, millions of entrepreneurs are out there experimenting (and usually failing) to get rich by coming up with “the next big thing.” Government responds to political pressure and is filled by people who want to hang onto their jobs, not find the newest innovation.
Two recent examples come to mind from Albuquerque that involve government enacting or putting forth policies that run directly counter to societal trends and technology:
- Albuquerque Rapid Transit: The new bus system along Central is now underway whether the locals like it or not. Interestingly, while Mayor Berry and the City embrace buses, a mode of travel that is nearly 100 years old, the City of Pittsburgh is now home to the first-ever self-driving Uber cars. As if to mock Albuquerque’s embrace of old tech, Singapore has announced that it has self-driving taxis. I’m sure the millennials will be VERY impressed by Albuquerque’s new bus system though.
- Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: A local ballot measure could be on Albuquerque ballots as soon as November depending on what happens at Thursday’s Bernalillo County Commission meeting.Interestingly, the trend among employers (also benefiting employees) runs in the opposite direction according to the article, “Why so many employers are getting ride of paid sick days.”
As the article notes:The decision to group all the PTO together started as a way to ease the administrative duties of tracking individual sick and vacation schedules, Meridith Burrows, The Cheat Sheet’s vice president of human resources, said in an interview. However, it also matches the culture of the company, whose entire staff works remotely from destinations all across the United States and abroad.
“We’re a flexible company, and this is just one more way that we can flexible,” Burrows said. Bundling PTO together also has another advantage, in that most employees avoid last-minute days off unless they are truly sick. If they know they’re planning to be away or might need the personal day after an active weekend, it’s within their ability to ask off ahead of time, without worrying about using sick days versus vacation PTO.As a media company that balances the demand for new content with the needs of its employees, that extra heads-up is helpful, Burrows said.
“Why would we want to encourage last-minute reporting like that?” she asked. “We’d rather know that information up front.” Restricting personal time off to sick days just encourages people to be dishonest — or to feel like they’re not believed when they actually do need a sick day. “We don’t want people to have that feeling,” Burrows said. “It’s not treating people like the adults that they are.”
Treating people like adults, what a novel concept! Rather than telling them how to live or telling them which days to take off an how, perhaps it is time for Albuquerque’s policymakers to treat us like adults?
2 Replies to “Buses and sick leave: Albuquerque is chasing yesterday’s trends”
Regarding the sick leave issue, there needs to be a modification of the Albuquerque City Charter entitled “Direct Legislation by Voter Initiative.” It is Article III, section 3:
Over the last several years, we have seen well intentioned by naive people messing around with the city’s minimum wage and now trying to do the same with mandatory sick leave. When, in the past, I have been approached by people asking me to sign the sick leave petition at Robinson Park on Saturdays, I always ask the person whether he has read the full proposed ordinance and whether he has personally ever run his own business. Invariably, the answer is no to both questions. I try to tell people how tough it is to run a business in Albuquerque and how these petition initiated ordinances will make Albuquerque even less attractive to current and prospective businesses. My comments fall on deaf ears.
The cited section of the City Charter needs to be changed to limit petition initiated legislation to those matters relating to the use of taxes . THAT is a petition that I would sign.
I agree 100% with Charles. We have to cure the disease, not the symptoms. Along with tax issues, adding or deleting, it should be used to remove elected officials from office as well.
Business owners and business coalitions need to come together and spend the effort and money accomplishing this effort before the Initiative comes up.