Thanks to the hard work of thousands of UFT members during a lengthy public campaign, the UFT was the first public-sector union in New York City to secure paid parental leave for the workers it represents. This new benefit, which was secured in 2018, is in addition to the maternity leave benefits that Department of Education-employed birth mothers already had.
UFT-represented DOE employees — including parents of any gender — may be eligible to take up to six continuous weeks of paid parental leave following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child under the age of 6.
Employees who take paid parental leave are formally on an unpaid leave from the DOE. The UFT pays a lump-sum benefit to these employees equivalent to their regular compensation. The city continues to provide health insurance to employees on parental leave.
How does it work?
If you physically gave birth to a child, you have the option to use your available Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR/sick day) balance immediately after your child’s birth, up to a maximum of six calendar weeks (eight weeks for a C-section) before taking paid parental leave for up to another six continuous weeks.
If you did not give birth to a child, you are eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave beginning on the date of the birth of the child or covered event.
If both parents work for the DOE, they receive a combined total of six weeks of paid parental leave. The six weeks can run concurrently (three weeks each, at the same time) or consecutively (such as three weeks for one parent followed by three weeks for the other parent).
Paid parental leave must be taken on a continuous, not intermittent basis.
Who is eligible to take paid parental leave?
- You must be in a title represented by the UFT.
- You must be either a full-time employee; or an H-bank/nonpedagogical employee who works a regular schedule of 20 hours or more per week.
- You must have been an employee and on payroll for a minimum of 12 calendar months from your most recent date of hire.
F-status and per diem employees are not eligible for paid parental leave.
Employees who have taken one paid parental leave are eligible to take another paid parental leave after 10 calendar months of active status.
Employees who take paid parental leave must return to work or active status for a total of at least 12 calendar months or they will be required to pay back the benefit.
If you have questions about paid parental leave, call the union at 212-331-6311