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Mayor de Blasio, United Federation Of Teachers Announce Contract Agreement To Provide Paid Parental Leave For All New York City Public School Teachers

June 20, 2018

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Robert Linn and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza today announced an agreement to provide six weeks of paid parental leave at 100 percent of salary for 120,000 UFT-represented employees – including all New York City public school teachers.

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. It is estimated that more than 4,000 new parents will use this benefit annually. The benefit will begin on September 4, 2018.

“No teacher should have to come to school sick because they’re saving their sick days to have a baby,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That’s not fair to our teachers and that’s not fair to our students. Today, we right that wrong and make the city a little fairer. We were at the forefront of paid parental leave policies when we announced the benefit for managers in 2015 and now we build on that legacy, extending it to 120,000 more New Yorkers who can plan for their families knowing they’ll have the support of their employer.”

“As we have said for months, in New York City where collective bargaining is so strong, the place to resolve parental leave is with the unions, at the negotiation table. Through collective bargaining with the UFT, we were able to reach an agreement to provide this parental leave benefit – and we did it in a way that is fair to workers, the City and taxpayers,” said Robert W. Linn, Commissioner of the Office of Labor Relations. “We worked hard, we worked together and we showed that public sector bargaining can indeed work. It’s a crucial way to deliver a resource that allows new parents to balance the great work they do while caring for a new life.”

“As a parent, I can’t overstate how important it is for new parents to have the opportunity to care for and bond with their newborn. As Chancellor, I’m proud of this major step forward that gives teachers the security they deserve to take care of their own families without having to worry about losing a paycheck,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Today we’ve shown that New York City is dedicated to ensuring our tireless and committed teachers have a strong support system.”

“Our educators give so much to the children in their classrooms. Now, New York City has a way for educators to spend more time with their own children. I give credit to Mayor de Blasio. He knew this was important for our city. No mayor before him was willing to do it, but he got it done,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

“Teachers are parents too, and they should be entitled to the same paid leave as any other working New Yorker. Giving teachers paid parental leave will not only be fair for them and their families but also fairer for their students and colleagues. I thank Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza for coming to an agreement with Michael Mulgrew and the United Federation of Teachers so our teachers can finally get the break they deserve. Today is an historic day for our educators and I congratulate them on this victory,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said, “All New Yorkers deserve paid parental leave and this deal for our incredible public school teachers is a huge step toward that goal. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew for reaching a solution that will lift up more than 120,000 families in New York City. No parent should have to choose between spending their first precious moments with a newborn child and risking their job. No parent should have to run out of vacation and sick days to care for a newborn whose life depends on them. Finally, our public school teachers will no longer have to make those sacrifices. I commend this solution on paid parental leave and look forward to continuing this momentum until all New Yorkers have access to this fundamental benefit.”

The contract covers all of the approximately 79,000 New York 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.

The new benefit will come at no new cost to New York City taxpayers. 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 two and one-half months, and fringe benefit and other savings.

“It’s incredibly heartening to see New York City take the lead on paid family leave, and this important agreement will expand that benefit to our city’s public school teachers,” said Congressman Joe Crowley, Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “Our city’s school teachers are often over-worked and underpaid, and paid parental leave will support them in educating the next generation of New York leaders. New Yorkers should also be reassured by the fact that this new benefit will come at no cost to our taxpayers. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers for striking this important deal!”

“Paid parental leave allows families to grow and bond together in those essential first months of a child’s life or adoption without parents putting their jobs on the line,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. “As a mother, former teacher, and author of legislation on the federal level to expand family leave policies, I know how important that time is for a child’s development and for a parent’s peace of mind. I am proud that the Department of Education and United Federation of Teachers are leading the way and putting some New York’s hardest workers, our public school teachers, first.”

“I commend Mayor de Blasio on today’s announcement implementing paid family leave for New York City residents,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “It’s critical to implement laws that ensure individuals do not have to choose between their jobs and the health and well-being of their families. Today’s announcement will help employers establish important guidelines that will guarantee individuals have adequate time to care for themselves and their families without penalty.”

“Parents need and deserve to be able to take time off to give birth and welcome a new child into their lives without having to make a financial sacrifice. They shouldn’t have to decide between taking care of a newborn or recently adopted child and job or income security. This policy will allow NYC public school teachers who become new parents to take up to 12 weeks fully paid to spend time with a new child post-partum or post-adoption. I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the United Federation of Teachers for negotiating this agreement and fighting on behalf of hard working teachers and their families,” said Congressman Jose E. Serrano.

“As a longtime supporter of paid leave – and a former classroom teacher who has great affinity and respect for our educators – I am pleased to see this agreement. We should be supporting parents and helping people stay in the workforce. This is a win-win for families and our economy,” said Congressman Eliot Engel.

"I sponsored the original paid family leave bill in the legislature for almost fifteen years and one of the leading groups in support was the labor movement, particularly teachers," said Assembly Member Catherine Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education. "It is a very sweet moment to finally see an appropriate policy that will benefit teachers and their families. A good family leave policy teaches all our children that they are valued because we are supporting a healthy family work-life balance. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio, UFT President Mulgrew and Chancellor Carranza on this important step forward."

“Parental leave is a critical support for both parent and child, but far too often parents have to choose between their child and their paycheck. This is a particularly egregious situation to put teachers in because they give so much to our children, and yet we deprive them of the ability to take care of their own,” said Council Majority Leader, Laurie A. Cumbo. “Policies like parental leave are a part of advancing gender equity in the home and in the workplace, which is especially relevant for the UFT whose membership is 77 percent women. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Robert Linn and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza for their announcement today of paid parental leave for NYC Public School Teachers and UFT-represented school nurses, therapists, guidance counselors, and secretaries. I look forward to continued partnership in finding ways to better support women and families.”

"Our city’s public school educators dutifully care for our children each and every day, and I am incredibly proud that our city is finally going to ensure that they and their children are being taken care of as well," said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. "As a former educator, I am excited that after months of advocacy, hearings, and press conferences, our teachers are going to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. This makes our city fairer and helps attract quality educators to an honorable profession in which we've seen a decline in teacher retention rates. I am grateful to UFT President Michael Mulgrew, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, and all of the educators, elected officials, and advocates that have helped make this critical agreement possible, and I commend Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to support the men and women who do so much for our city's students and families."

"What a great victory for NYC public school teachers who will now have access to paid parental leave," said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Finance. "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."

“Today’s announcement is great news for working families across our city,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Parents should never have to choose between work and bonding with their newborn. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, UFT President Michael Mulgrew, and Chancellor Richard Carranza on reaching this historic agreement. Parents should never have to choose between nursing a newborn and work.”

“In New York City, we count on teachers to care for our children, and to help give them the tools they need to take on the world. Teachers deserve the right to care for their own children as well. I applaud Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and the 120,000 New York City public school teachers who have been vocal about making paid parental leave a reality. This is a big deal and today is a big day,” said Council Member Justin Brannan.

“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,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “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.”

“Paid parental leave for UFT employees is long overdue,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “As a former teacher and parent myself, I experienced and witnessed first-hand the difficult choice of going to work to feed your family and not spending more time with my daughter. Let us continue supporting our teachers and school staff so they can take care of our families while not neglecting theirs.”

“This is a big win for New York City public school teachers today,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “Parents shouldn’t have to choose between their families and their job. The United Federation of Teachers fought long and hard to ensure that not only teachers but also nurses, therapists, guidance counselors and secretaries can have the financial support they need as they begin an exciting new chapter with their families.”

Council Member Debi Rose said, “Employees should not be forced to choose between paying their bills and recovering from childbirth. I applaud this agreement as a significant step forward for our city and a true reflection of our values. Offering paid parental leave to our UFT employees is win-win-win for all New Yorkers, giving teachers and other school personnel time to bond with their children, improving the health of young people and boosting morale in workplaces.”

“Today, I am proud to celebrate paid parental leave for all New York City public school teachers, and I thank all who have fought to make this a reality,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “As a new father myself, I am aware of how critical it is for parents to bond with their children during such a formative time. I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend this quality time with my child, and am glad to see that this will now be extended to all New York City public school teachers. I look forward to continuing to work for paid parental leave for all City employees, and this is a huge step in the right direction.”

“For too long, being a present parent has been treated as a nuisance by employers, either implicitly or explicitly. I’m heartened to see New York City allowing public school teachers and those represented by the UFT the time to bond and care for their children during those precious first days and weeks. One-hundred percent paid parental leave is something all workers should be afforded. Especially in the tragic light of what the federal government is doing to families at the southern border and across the country, it’s critical for this city to lead by example and demonstrate that families belong together,” said Council Member Francisco Moya.

“I would like to thank Mayor de Blasio, United Federation of Teachers, and Chancellor Carranza for their efforts in securing 6 weeks of paid parental leave for New York City public school teachers, which can lead to up to 12 weeks of leave in total. Studies have shown that paid parental leave can lead to several benefits, such as reduced infant mortality rates, increased durations of breast-feeding, and improved mental health for mothers. As a mother who had to return to work when both of my sons were just three weeks old because of my workplace’s lack of a comprehensive leave policy, I am pleased to learn that teachers, guidance counselors, and school nurses – all of whom play a vital role in our children’s lives – will come to benefit from this much-needed agreement,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

“All parents deserve the opportunity to spend quality time with their family,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “Whatever your particular profession may be, parents should not be forced to take sick or vacation time, or worse, have no choice but to go back to work prematurely. That is not the New York City any of us wants. This announcement sends a strong message to our educators and support staff who work hard every day to provide for our children — we value and respect you and your family.”

“I’m thrilled that New York City’s public school teachers will now be guaranteed paid parental leave,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Our public school teachers work hard every day to take care of our kids, and they deserve the necessary time to take care of their own. I thank Mayor de Blasio, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, Office of Labor Relations Commissioner Robert Linn and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza for coming to this critical and needed agreement,” said Council Member Brad Lander.

“We entrust our teachers with a tough job, taking care of and teaching our kids. We need to make sure they’re taken care of when they decide to have children of their own,” said Council Member Vallone. “I applaud this agreement which will provide paid parental leave for thousands more of our teachers!”

“This agreement is another good step in our work to create and preserve equality in the workplace. Paid parental leave allows new parents the opportunity to bond with their child without risking their jobs or their livelihood and it is a critical part of our country's long term efforts to bring women into the workforce,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “I commend Mayor de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, and UFT President Michael Mulgrew for reaching this important agreement and I remain proud to be a part of an Administration that values working families.”

"New York City public school teachers have long deserved paid family leave, and today's announcement is a major victory for working families. Every parent should have the opportunity to spend time with a new child. I commend the Mayor, the Council, and UFT for making paid family leave a reality for our city's public school teachers,” said Council Member Rory I. Lancman.

“I am thrilled about the announcement of this contract agreement for both its substance and its process.  For years there has been a desperate need for reform and expansion of paid parental leave for New York City teachers, and I am delighted that through the process of collective bargaining a contract that will be a win-win for over 120,000 teachers as well as the City has been created,” said Council Member Andy Cohen.

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