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Parental and Maternity Leaves

The UFT secured paid parental leave in June 2018 after months of intense negotiations with the Department of Education. The policy provides six weeks of time off at full salary for maternity, paternity, adoption and foster care leave. For more information on this benefit, see the UFT's FAQ on paid parental leave or visit the paid parental leave page.

There is also a separate maternity disability leave available. You can start your maternity disability leave at any time during your pregnancy, if it is necessary for medical reasons. If you are a birth mother, and you choose not to take paid parental leave, you can still take the previously negotiated maternity leave, which allows you to use your CAR (sick bank) days, borrow days, and if eligible, use a grace period  which pays you for all weekends and holidays during the 30 days following the exhaustion of the days in your sick bank. Maternity leave ends six weeks after the birth of your baby or eight weeks in the case of a documented c-section. If your recuperation requires more time, you can continue to use CAR days (if you have them) by applying for a restoration of health leave. Your payroll secretary can tell you how many days remain in your sick bank.

If you are disabled as the result of pregnancy, on approved health leave and you have medical documentation, the UFT Welfare Fund will pay for up to eight additional months of medical benefits identical to what you had while working.

Following a maternity leave, either parent can apply for an unpaid child care leave which can last for a period up to the September following the fourth birthday of your child. In this case, you must apply again each year.

Updates from the 2023 contract

  • When both the parent and the non-birth parent are UFT-represented employees, this couple may now take a total of 12 weeks of paid parental leave. The related maximums for other combinations of leaves related to the birth of a child have been likewise adjusted to account for these additional six weeks of parental leave for the second UFT-represented employee. 
  • If a baby remains hospitalized immediately after birth for a medical condition, the baby’s parent can delay the start of their parental leave until the baby is released from the hospital. In this circumstance only, the birth mother may, if eligible, borrow days and use grace for up to six weeks following the birth or eight weeks following a C-section if she doesn’t have enough CAR days in her bank.

If you have questions, call your UFT borough office for assistance.

For more information about leaves of absence and how to apply for them, visit the Leaves of Absence section »

Also see Cumulative Absence Reserve.