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 .
“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.