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Paid parental leave

Delivered paid parental leave graphic

Thanks to a public campaign by thousands of union members, the UFT became the first public-sector union in the history of New York City to negotiate paid parental leave (PPL) or the people we represent.

The UFT secured paid parental leave for UFT-represented employees 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.

Register for a free workshop about your paid parental leave benefits:

Are you preparing to welcome a new child into your life?

The UFT offers virtual Pathways to Parenthood workshops where you can learn about your parental leave benefits. These workshops are open to DOE-employed members in any borough.

Sign up for a workshop

These workshops will take place over Zoom. After you register, you'll receive an email a few days before the workshop with information on how to access the Zoom meeting. Space is limited, so you must register if you plan to attend.

Who is eligible to take paid parental leave?

You must be represented by the UFT and meet the following criteria:

  • You are a full-time employee OR an H-bank/non-pedagogical employee who works a regular schedule of 20 hours or more per week
  • You have been an employee and on payroll for a minimum of 12 calendar months from your most recent date of hire.
  • You have been in active status for the 12 calendar months immediately prior to the covered event.
  • 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 at least 12 calendar months or they will be required to pay back the benefit.

How do I apply for paid parental leave?

  1. Apply for your leave at least 15 days in advance of the anticipated date of the birth or covered event using the Self-Service Online Leave Application System (SOLAS). In SOLAS, if you are the birth parent, you’ll be asked if you plan to take Parental Leave OR Maternity Leave. To receive six weeks of paid leave in addition to the ability to use CAR days for up to six or eight weeks, birth parents should pick Parental Leave. Maternity leave draws exclusively on the use of CAR days. You will also give your anticipated return date. This information will be provided to your school or work site.  
  2. After the actual date of the birth or covered event, you have 10 calendar days to notify the DOE in SOLAS. (You have 21 days for exceptions to this deadline for special circumstances, such as a medical condition, a premature birth, a death in the family or reasonable travel necessary to adopt a child.) The actual date will be used to determine the final start and end dates of your paid parental leave. During this time, you can also amend your application if you have changed your mind about using your CAR balance or taking a child care leave.
  3. Using SOLAS to submit the required documentation.

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 a parental-leave covered event (i.e., birth, adoption or placement in foster care) have been likewise adjusted to account for the total of 12 weeks of paid parental leave for both UFT-represented employees. 
  • 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.

For more information:

Listen to a UFT podcast about paid parental leave