UNFAIR CITY POLICY?

Paid family leave for teachers and all city workers. The policy, hurting the very back bone of our most needed public servants. Meet some of the people struggling with the policy and find out why the city stands by it.

Aired on May 18, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> I'M NIGH EEM DOUGLAS FOR METROFOCUS.

THERE COULD BE A SHOWDOWN BREWING BETWEEN THE UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL.

NOW THE UFC'S DEMANDS FOR PAID FAMILY TIME OFF CONTINUES TO GROW.

NOW THE UFC MEMBERS ALONG WITH CITY WORKERS DON'T HAVE A POLICY IN PLACE FOR PAID FAMILY TIME OFF.

NOW, A PETITION STARTED ON CHANGE.ORG BY A NEW YORK CITY TEACHER CONTINUES TO GAIN SUPPORT WITH THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES.

SUPPORTERS INCLUDING MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL HELD A RALLY TO DRUM UP AWARENESS ABOUT THE ISSUE SAYING THE MAYOR SHOULD KEEP HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISE TO GIVE THE CITY WORKERS PAID FAMILY LEAVE.

WE SHOW UP EVERY DAY AND TAKE CARE OF OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN WHICH WE DO WITH LOTS OF LOVE AND CARE.

WE WOULD JUST LIKE THE SAME OPPORTUNITY TO DO THIS FOR OUR OWN ZBLIERN NEW YORK CITY TEACHERS SAY THE TIME HAS COME FOR THEM TO HAVE PAID FAMILY TIME OFF.

AND THEY RALLY ON THE STEPS OF CITY HALL AND TEACHERS SHARED THE STORIES OF FRIST BECAUSE THERE IS NO PLAN IN PLACE FOR TEACHERS TRYING TO START A FAMILY.

I UNEXPECTED HAD MY SON AT 25 WEEKS GESTATION, HE WAS TWO POUNDS, 13 INCHES.

I HAD TO MAKE A VERY HEART WRENCHING AND CRITICAL DECISION TO GO BACK TO THE CLASSROOM, JUST THREE WEEKS AFTER I HAD MY SON.

I HAD TO DO THIS BECAUSE I HAD TO SAVE MY TIME FOR WHEN MY CRITICALLY SICK SON WOULD BE HOME.

SAVING OR, QUOTE BANKING TIME IS WHAT TEACHERS SAY THEY ARE FORCED TO DO, WHICH MEANS THEY HAVE TO STOCK UP SICK TIME FOR YEARS IN MANY CASES AND SOMETIMES BANKING TIME IS NOT ENOUGH.

I'VE BEEN OFF PAYROLL THE LAST EIGHT WEEKS TO BE HOME TO TAKE CARE OF ZOE.

SHE WAS DIAGNOSEWOOD A MILK PROTEIN INTOLERANCE AND HAD TO BE PUT ON VERY SPECIAL FORMULA.

I NEEDED MORE TIME WITH HER.

I NEEDED TO BE HOME WITH HER.

YOU KNOW, BEFORE I DELIVERED I HORDED EVERY SINGLE SICK DAY THAT I COULD.

I WORKED RIGHT UP UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE MY C-SECTION JUST SO I COULD HAVE AS MANY DAYS AS I COULD TO SPEND WITH ZOE ON PAYROLL.

BUT, YOU KNOW WHAT, IT WASN'T ENOUGH.

AND MY FAMILY AND I WE MADE THE DIFFICULT FINANCIAL DECISION FOR ME TO GO OFF PAYROLL SO THAT I CAN BE AT OEM TO TAKE CARE OF ZOE.

THIS THIS TEACHER FROM STATEN ISLAND MANAGED TO GET BY USING SAVINGS SHE PUT ASIDE AND FROM HELP FROM HER FAMILY.

SHE IS ONE OF THOUSANDS OF CITY WORKERS HAVING TO MAKE THE DECISION BETWEEN RUSHING BACK TO WORK AFTER HAVING A CHILD.

THERE ARE EDUCATORS THAT WERE REQUIRED AND FORCED TO ACCRUE WHAT'S CALLED SICK DAYS IN THEIR SICK DAYS BANK JUST TO RAISE THEIR FAMILY.

LET'S BE CLEAR.

RAISING A FAMILY IN NEW YORK CITY IS NOT A SICKNESS.

WHAT'S SICK IS THAT WE DON'T HAVE EXISTING POLICY TO SUPPORT FAMILIES.

CITY COUNCILMEMBER MARK SCHRAGER IS A FORMER HISTORY TEACHER AND HAS BEEN LEADING THE CARTRIDGE TO HAVE PAID PARENTAL LEAVE STANDARD FOR TEACHERS AND ALL CITY WORKERS.

THE POLICY BASICALLY PUNISHES PEOPLE TO RAISE FAMILIES.

AND THERE IS NO POLICY WHATSOEVER IF YOU DOPT A CHILD.

THERE IS NO POLICY IF YOU FOSTER A CHILD.

THERE IS NO POLICY FOR NEW DADS.

AND THEN YOU LOOK AROUND AND YOU SEE THAT WAL-MART, NOT A FRIEND OF LABOR, HAS AS BETTER PAID PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY THAN THE CITY OF NEW YORK?

THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.

WAL-MART IS ONE OF MANY ON A GROWING LIST OF COMPANIES OFFERING PARENTAL LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES.

ACCORDING TO A REPORT BY 'THE NEW YORK TIMES,' IBM OFFERED SALARIED WORKERS PAID PARENTAL LEAVE FOR BIRTH MOTHERS AND 12 WEEKS FOR OTHER PARENTS.

STARBUCKS OFFERS 18 WEEKS TO BIRTH MOTHERS AND 12 TO OTHER PARENTS.

AS THE COUNCILMEMBER MECHANICSED WAL-MART HAS 16 WEEKS OFF FOR BIRTH MOTHERS AND SIX WEEKS OFF FOR OTHER PARENTS.

BACK IN 2016 THE MAYOR SIGNED AN OR MANDATING PARENTAL LEAVE FOR CITY EMPLOYEES BUT ONLY COVERING 20,000 MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEES AND NOT THE WORKERS MAKING UP THE MAJORITY OF CITY PAYROLL.

BUT EVEN THAT MOVE HAS DETRACT SFWLEER THEY SAID WE'RE GIVING YOU PAID PARENTAL LEAVE AND THEN SAID WE'RE TAKING AWAY VACATION DAYS AND RAISE.

THE CITY LITERALLY IS MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

THAT'S WHAT IT COST THE PEOPLE ON PAID PARENTAL LEAVE VERSUS WHAT THEY RECOUPED IN THE CITY TOOK WAY.

THE UNITED FRAGS OF TEACHER MY KNOWLEDGE MAR GRAPH SAYS HE IS WORKING TO PUT THE BRAKES ONNING THIS SIGNED BY THE CITY LIKE WHAT WAS IN 201637 HE SAYS WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL SHOULD HAVE HAVE AN ACROSS THE BOARD STANDARD.

BUT DURING A THREE-HOUR SESSION IN FRONT OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE BOB LEND, COMMISSIONER FOR LABOR RELATIONS IT'S SOMETHING TO BE WORKED OUT THROUGH CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS WITH EACH UNION.

THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PARTICULAR BENEFIT, THAT MUST BE LEFT TO THE PARTIES TO COME UP WITH A PROCESS THAT WORKS FOR THEM.

AND I HAVE TO SAY THE FACT THAT WE HAVE 144 BURGERENING UNITS IS EVIDENCE OF VERY, VERY DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES OF INTEREST AMONG DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES.

AND THE NATURE OF A BENEFIT COULD LOOK VERY DIFFERENT FROM ONE GROUP TO ANOTHER.

FROM ONE AGENCY TO ANOTHER.

ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING WITH A MAGNIFIED FOCUS ON TEACHERS AND THEIR TREATMENT AS STRIKES ARE POPPING UP ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH TEACHERS DEMANDING BETTER PAY AND WORKING CONDITIONS.

NOW AS FOR THE UFC AND THE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE CITY, THINGS WILL CERTAINLY HEAT UP AS THE YEARS GOES ON AND CERTAINLY BE A BUSY TIME FOR THE CITY'S LABOR DEPARTMENT.

THAT'S BECAUSE MOST OF THE CITY'S CONTRACTS WITH UNIONS EXPIRES AT THE END OF THE YEAR.

©2022 WNET. All Rights Reserved. 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 26-2810489