Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio and the UFT announced the agreement last week at City Hall.
By Forum Staff
The de Blasio administration and United Federation of Teachers recently announced that they have reached an agreement to provide six weeks of paid parental leave at 100 percent of salary for 120,000 UFT-represented employees – including all City public school teachers.
According to the pact, paid parental leave will be available for the birth of a child for both birth parents and non-birth parents and adoption or foster of a child under the age of 6. Birth parents will be able to combine their current paid sick leave provisions with parental leave for up to 12 to 14 weeks total. The City estimated that more than 4,000 new parents will use this benefit annually. The benefit will begin on Sept. 4.
“What a great victory for NYC public school teachers who will now have access to paid parental leave,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), chairman of the Committee on Finance and a longtime City public school teacher. “All parents should be able to care for their young children without sacrificing pay. This new agreement modernizes the existing paid leave policy, bringing equity and justice for same-sex couples, foster parents, those who choose to adopt children and many others. As a former NYC public school teacher and proud UFT member, I celebrate this progressive change.”
According to the City, the contract covers all of the approximately 79,000 City public school teachers, plus UFT-represented school nurses, therapists, guidance counselors, secretaries and others. Eligible full-time and part-time employees may initially claim the benefit after being on payroll for a total of one calendar year. While on leave, they will be paid their full salary, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised.
The new benefit will come at no new cost to city taxpayers, the administration noted. The City will contribute approximately $51 million to the UFT Welfare Fund annually. This will be offset by extending the 2009-2018 UFT collective bargaining agreement by approximately 2.5 months, and fringe benefit and other savings.
“Pregnancy is not an illness and should not be considered sick leave. Our dedicated teachers deserve to have the time to experience the joys and firsts with a new child without the anxiety of leaving their child too soon,” added Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica). “Paid parental leave is a big win for the teachers of New York City. “Thank you Mayor de Blasio and United Federation of Teachers for your diligent efforts to finally make paid parental leave a reality for all New York City Teachers.”