My due date is today, April 24. I am 40 weeks at the moment. I am going to work every day until my water breaks so that I do not use up the days in my sick bank. I feel uncomfortable and tired. I am forced, not by my administration or anything, but by my sick days, so that I have enough for my leave and can get paid, have insurance and return in six weeks without losing all of that.
I don’t want to apply for FMLA afterward because we have our union benefits and insurance for that. Plus, I need my summer pay. I have to return so I can get paid and keep insurance, but need to have enough of my own days saved for when I get sick or my child does. It took me six years to save up days before having a family. I feel really bad for those trying to start now who don’t have any days saved and have to pay them back.
Maria Catanzariti, District 32, Brooklyn