Michael Torrissi Jr.
Perspective / Torrissi in Trenton
Hard work is important. It’s essential not only for you and your family’s success, but also for the wellbeing of a functioning society.
While it’s crucial for us all to feel a sense of purpose from a hard day’s work, we can’t forget that at the end of the day, every business, school, jobs site and office building is made up of individuals that have lives outside of their jobs.
Everybody deserves dignity in the workplace. Part of a dignified work environment is being able to take care of your family in times of sickness and crisis.
There’s legislation introduced at the State House, which we both sponsor, that would allow teachers to use sick time to take care of ailing family members - something they currently cannot do that other state workers can. Bill A5060/S3440 would fix this issue that most people are unaware of but greatly affects the home lives of teachers.
Think about a single mother in the profession whose child just came down with an illness. Whether daycare won’t take them, or their school is making the child stay home, there aren’t many options the mother has if they don’t have family close by. Instead, they’ll be forced to stay home and take a pay cut.
Sick family members are a thing of life. No amount of toughness or a hard-work mentality is going to change that. We can’t wish away this inconvenience. Instead, we have to be respectful and realistic.
While it’s extremely important for teachers to be present, we also want them to educate our kids to the best of their ability. Having the stress of a sick child or family member, knowing there’s little they can do to help, only causes burnout and lowers their effectiveness.
This is why we support A5060/S3440 and will work to see it get passed this year. If any Hammonton teacher, or family of an educator would also like to support it and see the bill pass, we suggest writing or calling Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to make your voice heard that you support the bill and would like to see it passed.
Michael Torrissi Jr.