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Resolutions & Amendments

37th International Convention - Chicago, IL (2006)

Urge Congress to Enact Legislation Requiring Paid Parental Leave

Resolution No. 66
37th International Convention
August 7-11, 2006
Chicago, IL

Parents need more support to help balance their responsibilities at home and at work after the birth or adoption of a child; and

The U.S. Census Bureau reports the number of working mothers with children under twelve months of age increased from 31 percent in 1976 to 55 percent in 2004; and

Only about half of workers in the United States have the right to unpaid leave options that are granted under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and many of these workers will not take advantage of this right due to the limited availability of paid leave; and

The percent of employers in the United States who offer some form of paid parental leave has decreased from 27 percent in 1998 to only 18 percent in 2005; and

The United States Department of Labor reports that a large number of Americans who needed family or medical leave could not take it because leave was unpaid and they could not financially afford it; and

A sizable percentage of workers who lack access to paid benefits report to have used public assistance for support during family leaves; and

Parental bonding and its positive effects on newborns have been widely documented and most countries understand and embrace its importance which is reflected in the parental leave laws in existence around the world; and

All the industrialized countries in the world with the exception of the United States and Australia provide paid parental leave. A study by the Project on Global Working Families at Harvard University found that of 168 counties all but five countries, the United States, Australia, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland, offered some form of paid parental leave.

That AFSCME International and its state councils urge Congress to enact legislation that provides for twelve weeks paid parental leave for workers taking leave to care for and bond with the birth or adoption of a new child.
Carol Stahlke, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 189, Council 75
C.J. Mann, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 3267, Council 75