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UFT’s Paid Parental Leave Feather In The Cap/ Notch On The Belt

Jun 25, 2018 by

For the benefit of those union detractors who think that the the Supreme Court’s ruling making membership dues voluntary is their doomsday prescription and that unions have outlived their usefulness and done nothing lately to improve their members’ lives, here’s an awesome tidbit from a few days ago.
 
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) has triumphantly negotiated paid parental leave for its members. Not even during the “good old days” of storied union clout, had any public sector union in New York City achieved this before.
 
Not bad for a union whose critics hoped would be reeling in the run-up to the Janus decision, eh?
 
Following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child, eligible members are now entitled to as much as six weeks of paid parental leave. This applies to both birth and non-birth parents. If both parents are UFT members, they both can take the leave, provided it doesn’t exceed a total of six weeks.
 
Although surrogates are not eligible for parental leave, they may still be entitled to maternity leave and they need not qualify under the Family Leave Act to be granted parental leave.
 
Qualifying for paid parental leave is not a one-time deal, although a specific interval of time must elapse between them and members must return to active service for at least 12 calendar months afterwards.
 
The application process is done online, which makes it convenient, straightforward and avoids potentially awkward human interaction. And in most cases after the paid parental leave has been used up, members will return to the same school or worksite without fear of dislocation or needing to start over elsewhere.
 
Paid parental leave is the norm in the majority of nations with a modern outlook, but we  choose to be mired in some feudal attitudes. Paid parental leave is rare in the United States and would be rarer still if the reactionaries got their way and benevolent organizations like the teachers unions were silenced.
 
Union-busters:  eat your ( failing) hearts out!
 
Ron Isaac
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