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MEA Executive Board Responds to Mayor's Paid Parental Leave Announcement

MEA Executive Board Responds to Mayors Paid Parental Leave Announcement

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new plan on December 22 to offer 20,000 public employees six weeks of fully-paid parental leave. The proposal raises serious concerns with the MEA – which is asking the City to postpone the policy until several key issues are addressed.

The MEA Executive Board adopted the following resolution regarding the Mayor’s policy at the January 5 board meeting:

“The President shall request the City, including all Mayoral and non-Mayoral agencies, to delay implementation of the initiative and “pay fors” until an executive order, cost benefit analysis and operating procedures are provided and discussed.

The President shall request meetings with the appropriate administration representatives and request a moratorium on implementation until these related documents are discussed with the MEA.

The Legislative Committee and the Organization Committee shall meet separately and then jointly convene. The President will ensure that this occurs and will require a report within two months. The committees are charged with analysis of any information provided by the City. Information the committees may develop concerning policy, operating procedures and alternate funding methods shall be shared with the President and the President shall provide this information as appropriate with the Executive Board.”

The December 22 press release stated: “The new benefit will come at no new cost to New York City taxpayers, as the City will be repurposing the existing managerial raise of 0.47 percent scheduled for July 2017 and two days of existing vacation leave policy (the 26th and 27th days, which are received by long-service employees) to provide these six weeks of paid parental leave to all managerial and original jurisdiction employees.”

The Executive Board and our members raised various objections to this statement, including that the family-related needs of the managerial work force are not completely addressed. All immediate family members and household members may need intensive care from a City employee, including managers. An expanded paid family leave plan should include all these circumstances.

Members also stated that the initiative was announced with no consultation with the MEA;  that mayoral pay orders have never previously been “repurposed”, and that Time and Leave changes have never been limited to the managerial work force.

MEA President Stu Eber and Executive Director Linda Barnes are scheduling meetings with all relevant agencies to advocate delaying implementation of the six weeks Paid Parental Leave and “pay fors” until the relevant materials are shared with MEA and our objections and alternate options are addressed.

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