Secure Scheduling: What's at Stake
Whether you work at Amazon, McDonald's, Starbucks, or Safeway, we all need secure schedules that let us bring work, life, and family back into balance.
Everyone should have the right to know when they’re going to work and how many hours they’re going to get, but regular, full-time jobs are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, it seems like either you don’t get enough hours to pay the bills, or you get stuck with a workload that never ends — and you might not know which one it’s going to be until the workweek has already gotten started.
Thousands of Seattle workers don't even get their schedules until right before the workweek starts — which means life becomes a constant scramble. You can’t make a budget if you can’t predict your paycheck because your hours change dramatically from one week to the next. You can’t build a better future when you don’t have the flexibility to go back to school, get a second job, or start your own business. And you can't live your live on a few day's notice: insecure schedules mean it's almost impossible to make time to help your kids with their homework, participate in your community or even just make an appointment.
Seattle can ensure every worker has a schedule that brings their work life into balance and respects that our time counts. Modern scheduling software lets big chains predict consumer demand better than ever, and farther in advance than ever before. Instead of abusing this technology and playing games with our time, big chains can use it to provide secure schedules — and it won’t cost them a cent.
By requiring big employers to offer every worker advance notice of shifts, a right to rest, and access to hours, we can bring our worklives into balance and ensure everyone has the time they need to plan their budget, care for their families, and live their lives.
Secure scheduling means:
- Advance notice of your shift: Every worker has the right to know when they’re going to work & how many hours they’re going to get. But too many workers — especially in fast food & retail — get little more than a day’s notice of their weekly schedules… and it can change at a moment’s notice.
- Right to rest: Nobody should have to close down a shop late at night and then turn around and open up early the next morning. We need to eliminate clopenings by ensuring we can get at least 11 hours rest between shifts.
- Access to hours: Part-time employees should have the opportunity to take on more hours before hiring additional employees.
Secure scheduling advanced out of committee Thursday morning. But now the bill has an amendment that excludes workers in counties they classify as rural. People who work at the Walmart in Pasco need advance notice just like people who work at the Walmart in Renton. People who work at Taco Bell in Aberdeen need access to hours just like people who work at Taco Bell in Spokane. And people who work at the Olive Garden in Yakima need input into their schedules just like people who work at the Olive Garden in Vancouver.
The big food & retail chains don’t seem to love the idea of making our schedules work for us, too. They’re even sending general managers and lobbyists to tell the state legislature that despite all the evidence, workers don’t really have a problem with their work schedules. That’s why it’s so important that we show up and speak out about the realities of unstable and unpredictable work schedules. They need to hear that our time counts too!
Some people had other full-time jobs, so they were scheduled on the weekends. A couple other people were offered at least 25 hours/week. And for me and a couple other coworkers, it meant moving up to full-time hours. One of my coworkers had been working three different jobs before secure scheduling, and afterwards she was finally able to get a steady 40-hour schedule, so she was able to quit her other two jobs, which was a huge relief for her.
By a unanimous vote, Seattle made labor history once again by passing secure scheduling — the first new labor standard to address weekly work schedules since overtime pay became law in the 1930s. This landmark victory in Seattle is only the beginning in the fight for balanced and flexible schedules in Washington State and across the country
“Secure scheduling is the the first new labor standard to address weekly work schedules since overtime pay became law in the 1930s. Seattle is breaking new ground that will change the balance of power in coffee, food, and retail workplaces across the city." — Sejal Parikh, Executive Director, Working Washington
A key Seattle City Council committee is set to vote Tuesday morning on whether or not to advance who would be the nation’s strongest secure scheduling ordinance to a vote of the full council — at the same time as two new reports underscore the extent and impact of unstable & insecure schedules.
WOW! Today’s committee hearing on secure scheduling was incredible — more than hour of public comment, almost entirely in support of the basic principle that our time counts! Check out our top 10 moments from the hearing (in no particular order) — and take a look at the top 1 sign.
We hosted an expert academic panel including Dr. Anna Haley-Lock (Rutgers University), Daniel Schneider (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Kristen Harknett (University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley) on the effects of unstable & unstable scheduling
Just two years after Seattle passed $15, baristas and fast food workers with Working Washington are making history again with a secure scheduling law that provides the balance, flexibility, and power it takes to care for your family, contribute to your community, and build a better future.
Need a 1:17 video primer on why we need secure scheduling? We got that.
We’re closing in on passing a secure scheduling law that brings flexibility and balance for Seattle workers, and big business lobby groups are desperate to stop the change. We're making sure city council hears the needs of workers, because #OurTimeCounts too!
Despite serious methodological issues, the full 119-page city-commissioned report reaffirms the need for action on secure scheduling by showing how frequently workers experience short-notice schedules, clopens, and access to hours issues, and how inequitable the impacts are.
An industry lobby group surveyed workers about scheduling, and a quarter to a third reported issues with flexibility, advance notice, and access to hours — and that's just the answers the lobby group released!
We support a secure scheduling ordinance that includes advance notice of our schedules so we can plan our lives, predictability pay for being flexible if things change, shift swapping for additional flexibility when life happens, access to hours for those who want them, and a right to rest which eliminates mandatory clopens
It takes less than two minutes for you to tell City Council you support secure scheduling policies, including advance notice of schedules, right to rest, and access to hours. Whatever your job is and whatever your schedule is like, take a moment and let Council know that our time counts, too!
Baristas aren't going to stop organizing until they see that personal commitment from the CEO become a reality in every store, and see it be matched by a corporate commitment to support secure scheduling policies in Seattle and across the country.
Former top Starbucks exec Howard Behar recently spent more than $14,000 to buy a full-page ad in the Seattle Times. We don’t have that kind of money to burn, so we charged $10 for tickets to our Secure Scheduling Story Slam. Here’s the thing: we also showed up in the Seattle Times.
Seattle workers are leading the fight for secure scheduling — and their voices will take center stage at our Secure Scheduling Story Slam on Thursday, June 16th, presented by Working Washington and Seattlish.
A letter to Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council expressing support for secure scheduling, signed by more than 30 different organizations with tens of thousands of members.
An inside look at how big businesses like Target work their agendas in private — while entirely opting out of the public debate.
We are putting together a 24-hour calendar about how insecure schedules affect our work, our homes, and our lives. We’re calling it “Day of Our Life” and you’re the star.
Starbucks sign-production department follows through on corporate commitment to post three weekly schedules… but workers at actual Seattle Starbucks store only get one weeks’ notice anyway.
A few tweets on how unpredictable, unstable schedules in retail & food service affect everyone
Take a look at what the business lobby has been saying about secure scheduling, and you'll see the ultimate flexibility: flexibility with the truth. That's because there's just no honest way to convince someone that their hours ought to vary wildly from one week to the next, or that flexibility should always work to the benefit of companies, but never in the opposite direction.
Wow: the Washington Post got their hands on a national poll conducted for a coalition of state chambers of commerce, and it turns out the business lobby doesn’t even have the support of its own members in their opposition to secure scheduling.
Our survey of Seattle coffee, food service, and other workers shows that half of service workers receive their schedules just one week in advance — or less. Women are less likely to have secure schedules than men, people of color are less likely to have secure schedules than white workers, and most service workers don't have the flexibility they need to care for their families, contribute to their communities, and live their lives.