12.19.2011 | Puget Sound Business Journal | The percentage of Washington companies offering employee benefits has declined markedly in the last decade, a new report from the Economic Opportunity Institute shows.
12.20.2011 | San Juan Islander | For women in the workforce in Washington, 2011 could be summarized as a year of treading water - or even sinking a bit. According to a new report, women's wages and benefits in the Evergreen State continue to lag behind those of men. Even in the same job and age range and with similar education, a woman's average monthly pay is 63 percent of what a man earns per month.
12.19.2011 | Washington News Service | For women in the workforce in Washington, 2011 could be summarized as a year of treading water - or even sinking a bit. According to a new report, women's wages and benefits in the Evergreen State continue to lag behind those of men. Even in the same job and age range and with similar education, a woman's average monthly pay is 63 percent of what a man earns per month.
12.15.2011 | Publicola | Women in Washington State continue to earn dramatically less than men, a new report from the Economic Opportunity Institute finds—and the gap is only growing, as private-sector fields dominated by men rebound while the public sector, whose jobs are mostly held by women, continues to shrink.
12.10.2011 | Everett Herald | As the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute notes, "Washington's tax structure is currently unfairly skewed to favor the well-to-do. Rapid income growth and falling federal taxes further strengthen the case that the state's wealthiest families should pay more to finance high-priority public services."
12.01.2011 | Seattle Weekly | The popular political solution to the budget debacle is a temporary half-cent increase on sales tax. But Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, has some ideas for a more progressive source of revenue.
11.28.2011 | The Columbian | This month, the nonprofit Economic Opportunity Institute, which says it focuses on “building economic opportunity for the middle class,” released its own slate of $1 billion worth of tax breaks it would like to see eliminated and new taxes it would like to see enacted.
11.22.2011 | KUOW: The Conversation | Marilyn Watkins is the policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, a think tank in Seattle that promotes "long–term economic security and opportunity for Washington's middle–class workers and families."
11.22.2011 | The Western Front | “It’s actually good news,” said Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute. “It would be devastating to our economy as a whole if the deal they were talking about was executed.”
11.21.2011 | Publicola | The Economic Opportunity Institute has a new report showing that the Great Recession has disproportionately impacted women, as the weak economy has compounded inequities between men and women in wages, access to health insurance, paid leave, and retirement income.
11.21.2011 | San Juan Islander | Most of the budget gap, says Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, could be paid for by repealing tax breaks such as the one the state provides to banks for profits they make on home mortgages. "There's absolutely no evidence that tax break has done any good for consumers in Washington or homeowners in Washington state."
11.14.2011 | KUOW: The Conversation | When the state Legislature convenes in special session after Thanksgiving, their job will be fixing a $2 billion budget shortfall. Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, thinks they need to bring in more money.
11.07.2011 | The Olympian | As we tackle this newest revenue shortfall, instead of telling 6,000 elderly and disabled people to buck up and take care of their own needs, thousands of poor people to endure their dental pain, thousands of schoolchildren to learn as best they can in larger and larger classes, and thousands of workers to apply for unemployment benefits, we should first look at repealing a long list of tax breaks that have been won by the powerful in Olympia.
10.30.2011 | The Olympian | The Economic Opportunity Institute offered other ideas worth $1.5 billion a year. Among them: repeal of the mortgage interest exemption for banks; reinstatement of a pop tax; repeal of a jet-fuels exemption; a surcharge of 10 percent on sales of cars, boats and planes valued at more than $50,000; a 5 percent state admissions tax that excludes youth and K-12 sports events; and repeal of the excise-tax exemption for motor-fuels.
10.28.2011 | Bellingham Herald | The Economic Opportunity Institute offered other ideas worth $1.5 billion a year. Among them: repeal of the mortgage interest exemption for banks; reinstatement of a pop tax; repeal of a jet-fuels exemption; a surcharge of 10 percent on sales of cars, boats and planes valued at more than $50,000; a 5 percent state admissions tax that excludes youth and K-12 sports events; and repeal of the excise-tax exemption for motor-fuels.
10.24.2011 | Everett Herald | Among the speakers assembled at a forum at Everett C.C. last week was Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works. She noted Social Security has provided benefits reliably for 75 years. Before Social Security, the only choice was the poorhouse, she said. "There's been a campaign against Social Security since it was enacted," Altman added. "Instead of giving people assurances, the facts have been turned on their heads."
10.04.2011 | Crosscut | Marilyn Watkins, at the Economic Opportunity Institute, noted that "business prospects have rebounded, corporate CEOs are getting megamillion-dollar salary boosts again, but that hasn’t trickled down." And in the coming years, the effects of poverty rates as serious as today's are likely to trickle up.
09.29.2011 | Women's Media Center | Seattle recently became the third U.S. city to adopt paid sick days standards. With an 8 to 1 council vote on September 12, Seattle joins San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and the state of Connecticut in establishing this common-sense public health protection.
09.15.2011 | NW Asian Weekly | “Stay home when you’re sick,” states a public health message, which goes unheeded by four in 10 workers in fields of food safety and public health, including restaurant, grocery, and health care workers who are employed in an estimated 190,000 jobs that do not provide paid sick leave, according to a May 2011 report from the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI).
09.09.2011 | LA Times | The Economic Opportunity Institute, which backed the measure as part of the Seattle Healthy Workforce Coalition, estimates that about 190,000 workers in Seattle do not get paid sick days.
09.08.2011 | Seattle PI | The Economic Opportunity Institute estimates nearly 200,000 workers in Seattle now get no paid sick days. A poll released this week by sick-leave proponents showed that more than two-thirds of Seattleites favored the idea of requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave.
09.07.2011 | Seattle PI | The Economic Opportunity Institute estimates nearly 200,000 workers in Seattle get no paid sick days. Under the plan sponsored by Councilman Nick Licata, workers would have to be on the job for six months before they could use accrued sick time.
09.07.2011 | The Stranger | For restaurant workers, this means serving food while they also cough, sniffle, rub their noses... you get the picture. And according to the Economic Opportunity Institute, a research and policy center based in Seattle, one in four grocery-store employees—the people fondling your produce—report coming to work sick because they don't have paid sick days.
08.18.2011 | San Juan Islander | In Washington state, higher taxes for the wealthy have been the subject of ballot initiatives and legislative debate, but the wealthy are still being "coddled" here, too, according to Marilyn Watkins, policy director with the Economic Opportunity Institute.
08.09.2011 | Seattle Times | The Economic Opportunity Institute, a local policy think tank advocating for the Seattle mandate, took national figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and applied them locally to estimate that 190,000 Seattle jobs — about 38 percent of jobs within the city — do not get paid sick leave.
07.20.2011 | The Olympian | The national group Demos and the left-of-center Economic Opportunity Institute based in Seattle plans to issue a report Thursday that talks about lost opportunities for the middle class in this state. Among findings it will report in its briefing paper, “Under Attack: Washington’s Middle Class and the Job Crisis”.
07.07.2011 | Law.com | There are active campaigns for sick-leave ordinances in Denver and Seattle, said Alex Stone, a spokesman with the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute.
07.06.2011 | The Conversation on KUOW | The City Council's Housing, Human Service, Health, and Culture Committee is considering a bill that would mandate paid sick leave for all Seattle employees. Guests include Marilyn Watkins, policy director of the Economic Opportunity Institute.
07.06.2011 | seattlepi.com | City Councilmember Nick Licata proposed the ordinance last month, for the roughly 200,000 Seattle workers who get no paid sick leave, according to the Economic Opportunity Institute.
06.22.2011 | The Stranger | “This is the first time in the nation that proponents [of paid sick leave] sat down with small businesses and addressed their concerns prior to introducing legislation,” said Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute at a press conference at City Hall this morning.
06.22.2011 | Publicola | Asked about the reasoning behind requiring less sick leave for employees smaller businesses, Economic Opportunity Institute policy director Marilyn Watkins said, ‘”Obviously, you don’t get sick less often because you work in a smaller business [but] businesses that are a little larger have a greater ability to move people around.”
06.22.2011 | Seattle Times | Watkins and the Economic Opportunity Institute, a policy think tank, published a report in May supporting a mandatory sick-leave law for Seattle. The report shows that workers in the lowest 10th percentile of wages are much less likely to receive paid sick leave.
06.22.2011 | Seattle Times | Marilyn Watkins, an economist and spokeswoman for the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, estimates that about 190,000 workers do not receive paid sick leave in Seattle.
06.22.2011 | Seattle PI | The Economic Opportunity Institute estimates nearly 200,000 workers in Seattle get no paid sick days.
06.22.2011 | UW Daily | If this ordinance is passed with a simple majority vote by the City Council and the approval of McGinn, even part-time student employees would be entitled to sick-day benefits, said Marilyn Watkins, policy director of the Economic Opportunity Institute.
06.21.2011 | Q13 Fox | "Our surveys show a great number of people without insurance are those working in health care and in restaurants," said Marilyn Watkins with the Economic Opportunity Institute.
06.20.2011 | Seattle PI | Alex Stone, spokesman for the Economic Opportunity Institute, said the proposal to be discussed Tuesday and formally introduced by Licata on Wednesday will be unique to Seattle. No details were immediately available. “This is a completely new proposal” Stone said.
06.14.2011 | AlterNet | “The system isn’t working when little children are crying in the school nurse’s office begging them not to call their mom,” said coalition director Marilyn Watkins. “I’d love to have [the bill] in place before the next flu season and school year starts.”
06.5.2011 | MSNBC | “We’re seeing momentum for paid sick days all around the country,” said Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute.
05.11.2011 | Public News Service | Staying home from a job when ill isn't always possible for the four-in-10 Seattle workers who have no paid sick leave. A new study looks at the benefits of a proposal to require employers to provide paid sick leave for all workers, including those in food service, retail and health care.
05.11.2011 | KIRO Radio | "Right now about 40 percent of the workforce doesn't get any paid sick leave. And often times its people that earn lower wages, so when they're sick they have to make a really tough choice," said Marilyn Watkins with the Economic Opportunity Institute.
05.10.2011 | Seattle Times | An estimated 190,000 workers in Seattle receive no paid sick days, said Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, a nonprofit public-policy organization that has joined with more than 50 groups under the umbrella organization, Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, to support the proposal.
05.09.2011 | Puget Sound Business Journal | The Economic Opportunity Institute has released a study examining the consequences of the fact that 4 in 10 workers in Seattle have no paid sick leave. That’s about 190,000 jobs, including around 30,000 in accommodation and food service, 20,000 in retail and 20,000 in health services.
05.09.2011 | Seattle PI | The report by the Economic Opportunity Institute was released by the Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce. It says many of the 190,000 people working in Seattle without paid sick leave work in restaurants and grocery stories and expose people to diseases when they go to work when ill. A mandatory sick leave program would also increase employee retention, the report says.
05.06.2011 | King 5 News | Here in Seattle, 60% of workers have paid sick leave - 40% do not. It's a hot issue that's just starting to cook up in Seattle.
05.03.2011 | KUOW: The Conversation | The Seattle City Council is considering a new law that would require employers to provide paid sick leave. Should all workers in Seattle get paid sick leave?
04.27.2011 | King 5 News | Pushing for mandatory paid sick leave for all, the Economic Opportunity Institute says its an equity issue and a health issue. "A lot of the people who don't get paid sick leave have direct contact with food and the general public," said Marilyn Watkins from the institute.
04.26.2011 | Whidbey News-Times | “Keeping the Social Security Promise” will be the topic of Executive Director John R. Burbank’s speech on Sunday, May 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Hayes Hall conference room at the Whidbey Island Campus of Skagit Valley College in Oak Harbor.
04.25.2011 | Publicola | According to Marilyn Watkins of the Economic Opportunity Institute, one of several dozen liberal and progressive groups pushing the legislation, more than 40 percent of workers in Seattle—many of them in food, health care, and service jobs that put them in close contact with the public—have no paid sick leave. “There’s a huge public health issue and equity issue.”
04.20.2011 | Real Change | Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle, said paid sick leave is a matter of public health. Employees who go to work sick spread disease to other workers. At restaurants, stores and other worksites open to the public, they can also make customers sick.
04.15.2011 | Public News Service | Both the House and Senate budgets trim early learning programs, but they go about it differently. The House cuts or ends some individual programs, while the Senate proposes paying less per child for ECEAP, the state's preschool program for low-income families, and asking parents for a copayment. Gary Burris, a senior policy associate with the Economic Opportunity Institute, says any option comes with problems.
04.11.2011 | Public News Service | A new report from the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) says Washington women working full-time earn 75 percent of what men earn, and it blames much of the disparity on workplace policies that put women at a disadvantage when juggling jobs and family responsibilities.
03.30.2011 | Public News Service | The American dream has faded away for many in Washington, a new study finds. The report, "The State of Working Washington," combines data from dozens of sources on jobs, wages and benefits. Its conclusion may be no surprise: for all but the wealthiest Washingtonians, times are tougher.
03.07.2011 | Public News Service | Analyzing multiple studies on wages and benefits, the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) has found that most state workers are underpaid compared to their private-sector counterparts, by an average of about seven percent. Marilyn Watkins, EOI policy director and report co-author, says almost half of public employees in Washington have college degrees, but that is not reflected in their paychecks.
02.16.2011 | Washington News Service | Battling to keep social-service programs such as the Basic Health Plan alive in Washington, advocates are saying that corporations or groups that benefit from specific tax exemptions should either have to justify them or lose them. Safety-net programs regularly have to prove their worth to the state, says Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, so beneficiaries of tax breaks should do the same.
02.08.2011 | The Oregonian | Hardly any other entity in the world, public or private, can call itself a multitrillionaire. That's why John Burbank, executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle, calls Social Security "the best-funded program in the federal government."
02.02.2011 | Crosscut | Several groups have begun to target breaks that are the most problematic. The Economic Opportunity Institute has produced a list that includes interest earned on real estate loans, income earned by in-state freight haulers, agricultural producer’s income, and sales of customized software.
01.01.2011 | Seattle Times | This straddling of individualism and the common good isn't unique to us. It's persisted throughout U.S. history, and within each of us, says Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute. "We all believe that individuals should have control of their own destiny, but we've always known in a democracy that you are in it together, that our self-interest is connected to the interests of others."
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