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Resolutions & Amendments

39th International Convention - Boston, MA (2010)

Paid Parental Leave

Resolution No. 43
39th International Convention
Boston Covention & Exhibition Center
June 28 - July 2, 2010
Boston, MA


Since the International Labor Organization adopted maternity leave in 1919, it laid the foundation for what we know as parental leave. Its original concept was to provide protection rights to the expectant mother, such as the right to cash; the right to medical benefits and most importantly job security; and

Parental leave increases better prenatal and postnatal care, more intense parental bonding over a child’s lifetime, and lower accident rates in the first year of life. Parental leave policies also increase the likelihood that children will be immunized and, as a result, are associated with lower death rates for infants (2005 report published by the National Partnership for Women and Families); and

The United States of America is one of two nations in the industrialized world that does not provide some form of paid parental leave. Moreover, only a handful of states in the U.S. require employers to have temporary disability programs, which pay benefits if the pregnancy is defined as a disability by a doctor; and

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. However, this is only if your employer is a covered employer with 50 or more employees, and only when you are an eligible employee. In fact, because paid maternity leave is not readily available from most employers (more than half of U.S. companies employ fewer than 50 people), women usually use a combination of short-term disability, sick leave, vacation, and personal days in order to have some portion of their maternity leave paid. Almost one third of women who reported taking maternity leave did not have any portion of their maternity leave paid; and

Offering adequate parental leave not only helps to avoid pushing a family’s income into poverty levels, but also instills emotional stability between the new mom and baby. Reports from other nations show that parental leave entitlements are strongly correlated to emotionally stable children, 25 percent fewer post-neonatal deaths, and stronger families; and

An employer or company that offers paid maternity leave tends to attract better, dedicated employees. This results in higher productivity, increased career opportunities for women, higher incomes for women, decreased employee discrimination suits and a decrease in employee turnover; and

Today, women bear children later in life, continue to work during the childbearing years and make important financial contributions to the household.

That AFSCME will promote and support policies toward establishing federally-mandated paid parental leave; and

That AFSCME will lobby the White House Council on Women and Girls, created by President Barack Obama and tasked to establish policies for a balance between work and family, to further initiatives for the creation of federally-mandated paid parental leave policy.
Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate
Egbert Isaacs, Vice President and Delegate
Sheera Glass, Secretary and Delegate
Thomas Orawiec, Treasurer and Delegate
Morris Johnson, Delegate
Alan Mendelson, Executive Board Member
Diana Thillet, Executive Board Member
AFSCME Local 154, Council 37
New York