Thursday, September 28, 2017
The Maternity Leave Dilemma.
A petition to get the UFT to negotiate with the City on maternity leave was presented at the Executive Board meeting on Monday and the union leadership,while synthetic to the needs of the younger teachers, stated that the City has not been willing to offer a reasonable deal.
Evidence that the union was actually telling the truth is that the City has already imposed a maternity leave program on their mangers and the managers are very unhappy at the cost of this provision. The City imposed maternity leave program cost the managers their 2017 raise of 0.47% and for senior managers they had to fork over two vacations days in exchange for the maternity leave.
Interestingly, the IBO did an analysis of the City's maternity leave cost on the managers and found that the City saved $5.8 million dollars the first year. The reason was that the average age of the 8,279 managers under the program is 47 years of age and few (230 or 2.7%) were able to take advantage of the maternity leave program. The IBO stated that only a few younger managers were able to take advantage of the program while all mangers were penalized by loss of raises and the senior managers with 15 or more years of experience and averaged 55 years of age lost two vacation days for a program that they probably cannot use.
When it comes to the unionized workforce, they are younger than the managers and replacing a person who takes maternity leave usually means paying overtime, rather than straight time/ Therefore, the City's terms would cost the unions too high a price for that "giveback" and so far no union has come to an agreement with the City. Until and unless the City decides that maternity leave should become a right and not a negotiated item in a contract, the prognosis for a maternity leave benefit remains bleak.
For those teachers, who were on maternity leave or other unpaid status,in October of 2015, they will finally get their first lump sum payout. However, this year's lump sum payout will not be paid until October of 2018 for teachers who were on unpaid leave back in October of 2015. Therefore, each lump sum payment will be delayed one year and those teachers will not be whole until October of 2021 instead of 2020.You can thank the union leadership for screwing those teachers on unpaid leave, be it maternity leave or other unpaid leave.
Maybe the union can correct the many wrongs of the 2014 contract in a new contract and one place to start is to negotiate with the City to allow UFT members who were on unpaid leave status, such as maternity leave to be made whole again by giving them the lump sum payments at the time all other active members get theirs.