Councilman Pelaez Says San Antonio Mayor and Others on Council Agreed to Paid Sick Time Delay


Activist Joleen Garcia leads paid sick time advocates in a rally outside of City Council chambers. - SANFORD NOWLIN
  • Sanford Nowlin
  • Activist Joleen Garcia leads paid sick time advocates in a rally outside of City Council chambers.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg and three of the four council members who publicly stated their opposition to the city's delay of its paid sick time ordinance were briefed on the delay plan and agreed to it, Councilman Manny Pelaez told the Express-News.

Councilman Roberto Treviño was the only member who told city attorneys he opposed the delay before the city and business groups struck a deal to push back the ordinance, Peláez told the daily paper for one of its podcasts.

Last month, a state district judge approved a deal pushing back the start date of San Antonio's paid sick time rule from August 1 to December 1. City council approved the measure last year after labor and progressive groups — including some who campaigned for Nirenberg's reelection — mounted a successful petition drive asking for its adoption.

Business groups sued over the measure's implementation, however, and the city attorney's office agreed to the four-month delay, saying it would allow time to refine legal details of the ordinance and win support from employers.

After the delay plan came to light, Nirenberg and council members Roberto Treviño, Melissa Cabello Havrda, Ana Sandoval and Jada Andrews-Sullivan took to Twitter to voice their opposition.

Only Havrda spoke to the Express-News, telling the paper she didn't feel like she was adequately briefed and adding that she later informed City Attorney Andy Segovia she couldn't support the delay.

Nirenberg's office didn't respond to the Current's request for comment on the report.

"Ultimately, what we need is a city council and a city government that's transparent and accountable to the community," said Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Project — one of the groups that facilitated the paid sick time petition drive. "We don't have that."

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.