News broke on Wednesday that the City and the UFT have made come up with a “parental leave” agreement. The news and partial details came out only hours before the Delegate Assembly was to vote on it. That short period is something that made some members concerned. Nevertheless the Delegate Assembly voted on it.
Details are here: FAQ on paid parental leave
Some members are praising it as a victory, some are saying “close, but not enough” and other members really dislike it.
UFT Solidarity member, and adoptive parent David Irons, shared this on Social Media:
“Parental Leave is a SCAM!!!!! (Some quick analysis)
I wanted to be excited about the new “Parental Leave,” and like many of my friends on Facebook was. I am a foster parent, I have adopted several children and I plan to have more in the future. I am not a woman hating man either, I supported a leave that worked for “most”…but the details are horrible here!
1. The City is just trying to save the UFT and the UFT got $51 million dollars every year forever from the city. You will NOT be paid by the city, you will be paid by the Welfare Fund. The city funnels the money into the Welfare fund, the UFT pays out a little of it and keeps the rest as their slush fund.
2. Unpaid leave is NOT pensionable! Again, you don’t get paid by the NYC DOE, you get paid from the UFT. So the Parental Leave time will not count towards your service.
3. You do NOT have to use your CAR days…as a matter of fact I was told you can’t unless you are a “birth mother.” So there is no way to get the time pensionable or as part of your DOE salary if you are near retirement.
4. We are all paying for it, and a lot. A one year raise at 2% for the UFT is estimated by the IBO to cost $240 million dollars. 73 days of lost raises is $48,000,000 dollars a year in perpetuity. My question is, what happens when our salaries grow, but the contributions to the Welfare Fund by the city don’t? The UFT now has an incentive NOT to fight for higher raises for us, this benefit could strip the Welfare Fund bare in the future!
5. The city and UFT have you by the proverbial chain. If you take the benefit then you must return for 12 months or pay it back in full.
6. There’s a lot hidden about who will be eligible: “If you have taken other leaves of absence prior to the parental leave, you should contact your UFT borough office with questions about their eligibility.” It sounds like a smaller and smaller group will ever see the lauded benefits here.
7. For foster and adoption the child must be under 6. Trust me, a 7 year old needs just as-much if not more bonding time than a 2 year old.
8. If two parents work for the UFT they only get a total of 6 weeks they can use. So you both have to pay for it with 73 days of no raises, but you can’t both benefit from it!
9. If you receive your child/Have your baby during the summer you may lose all or part of the benefit. A man, woman adopting, people fostering, etc. only gets 6 weeks, so there is a large swath of the year(summer) you would not benefit. Again, the UFT walks away with $51 million every year forever and most of us get NOTHING!
10. Our chance at paid FMLA leave is gone. The UFT settled for nothing! Remember, this is only for parents, not for personal illness, taking care of a sick family members, etc. like NYS mandates for private employees now.
I am sure there are a lot more bombs to come when the full details see the light of day. The UFT is by far the biggest winner, watch closely, the Welfare Fund will not payout $51 million dollars for decades…but they will hire 100’s of Unity Hacks to administer the money!
But rest assured, NYC gave us nothing! We ALL paid for it with our own money! Michael Mulgrew and UFT are horrible negotiators, they go in with a dollar of OUR MONEY and come out with ten-dimes for themselves and call it a win.
James Eterno from ICE UFT posted this:
What are your thoughts? Should the city have paid? Should it be pensionable? Is the agreement just fine?