The agreement with CSEA will provide more than 52,000 employees with 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

Gov. Kathy Hochul today announced an expansion of New York State’s leading initiative to provide 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave benefits to more than 80 percent of the state’s workforce, fulfilling her commitment to the state. As part of the Governor’s continued support for New York workers and their families, this historic shift means that, for the first time in New York State history, most New York State workers will receive this important benefit.

“Nobody should have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a newborn baby,” Governor Hochul said. “In my state, I introduced a nationally leading initiative to provide full paid parental leave benefits to New York State employees – and today we are delivering on that promise. By extending full paid parental leave to more than 80% of our employees State employees, New York is leading by example in providing critical support to hardworking families.”

Today, the Governor announced an agreement with the three largest state unions to expand paid parental leave. The Governor announced an agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association representing a variety of roles in New York State to expand paid parental leave to more than 52,000 employees. The Governor also announced pending contractual agreements with the Public Service Federation, which represents public officials with professional, scientific and technical titles, and the United University Professions, which represents higher education workers, which includes full-paid parental leave benefits for members. If approved, workers would be eligible for 12 weeks of fully paid time off to bond with a newborn, foster or adopted child.

Despite the ample positive benefits of paid parental leave for maternal and child health, as well as family economic security and workforce retention, the United States is the only developed country in the world that does not have a national paid parental leave policy. In addition to any employer-sponsored benefits, new parents and caregivers rely on a patchwork of various federal, state and local leave policies.

Governor Hochul first announcedd This initiative was part of her 2023 State of the State Address. Once the union contract is approved, more than 140,000 unionized employees will join the ranks of 10,000 unrepresented New York State employees who became eligible following Gov. Hochul’s February policy announcement. The Office of Employee Relations will continue to work with the remaining state unions to extend this benefit to their workers through collective bargaining.

Governor Hochul also announced that the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) will develop and launch a statewide paternity leave awareness campaign as recommended by the New York State Government Gender Pay Gap Report 2023The campaign aims to normalize paternity leave by raising awareness of the benefits available to new and expectant fathers and highlighting how it can positively impact families and the career and salary prospects of women earners.

View sample DOL paternity leave campaign video here.

New York has long been a leader in parental leave and family leave benefits, enacting statewide paid family leave laws in 2016. In 2021, Governor Hochul signed Legislation expands the law to include care for seriously ill siblings.

Mary E. Sullivan, President of the Civil Service Employees Association said, “This agreement recognizes that anyone who has the opportunity to become a parent through childbirth, adoption, or foster care should be allowed to take the time to strengthen the parent-child bond without fear of the financial impact of taking unpaid leave. Paid parental leave will have a huge impact on our entire New York state. Another huge boon for union members, and we thank Governor Hochul for staying true to her commitment to making this happen. While much of the U.S. lags far behind other states in terms of paid family and parental leave policies, New York is undoubtedly moving toward A step in the right direction.”

Wayne Spence, president of the Public Employees Federation, said, “PEF is grateful to the Governor for agreeing to add paid parental leave to our contract for hard-working New York parents. This new benefit will help New York State attract and retain professionals knowing they can spend time with their families without worrying about balance Their work and family life during those first precious months.”

Frederick E. Kowal, President of Union University Programs, said Dr. “Paid parental leave will provide a huge boost to working families to be able to care for and bond with their new children without the fear of losing pay to stay home and be a part of this amazing experience. Paid parental leave will have Helps attract the best and brightest to SUNY and will be a powerful retention tool, keeping our talented, dedicated members in our classrooms, campuses and teaching hospitals. Our Governor understands paid parental leave importance, and we thank her for spearheading efforts to negotiate this important new benefit with state unions.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “By removing financial barriers and ensuring time to bond with newborns, the expansion of New York’s paid parental leave program enables parents to embrace this transformative journey without sacrificing financial security. This bold move reaffirms Governor Hochul’s commitment to supporting working parents and recognizing the invaluable role they play in shaping our future. We are united in our commitment to building a society where every family can thrive, and this benefit is A big step towards that vision.”

New York State Office of Employee Relations Director Michael Volforte said, “Paid parental leave will have a significant impact on working families by helping parents care for their children without fear of losing paychecks. Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, I am delighted that we will be able to expand this meaningful benefit to more state employees And I look forward to continuing to work with our union partners to extend fully paid parental leave to New York State’s workforce.”

New York State Civil Service Commissioner Timothy R. Hogues said“Expanding paid parental leave to more of New York State’s workforce will provide much-needed support to our dedicated public servants as they provide for their children. This marks the latest step Governor Hochul is taking to help strengthen and Support the public workforce.”

State Senator Neil Breslin said, “Working New Yorkers should feel safe knowing they can care for a new family member without risking their financial solvency, and this groundbreaking expansion of paid parental leave allows the more than 150,000 people who serve us to State employees feel at ease “I applaud Governor Hochul and our public employee unions – CSEA, PEF and UUP – for putting the needs of parents and children at the center of these collective bargaining agreements. “

A better balance, said co-founder and co-president Sherry Leiwant, “A Better Balance is proud to fight for paid leave for workers across the country, and we applaud the Governor for expanding paid leave for state workers. We look forward to working together to ensure that New York continues to be a paid leave to protect their health and that of their families.”

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