Colleagues,

Today we have submitted to the Rochester City School District a negotiations proposal to implement the 2018 New York State Paid Family Leave Benefits Act.  We have asked that negotiations of this proposal be scheduled for the next meeting of the Living Contract Committee on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.  The following are some key aspects of the 2018 NYS Paid Family Leave Benefits Act:

  • Although it is mandated for private employers, it is not mandated for public employers but could be negotiated.
  • By law, it is self-funded by employees through payroll contributions. The cost for each employee (0.126% of the employee’s weekly wage) would be no more than $1.65 per week, but could be less.
  • The weekly benefit is 50% of your average weekly wage capped at 50% of the NYS average weekly wage, currently at $1305.92.  Your average weekly wage is the average of your last eight weeks of pay prior to starting Paid Family Leave.  The NYS average weekly wage is updated annually.
  • The benefit covers employees for up to 8 weeks in 2018; 10 weeks in 2019 and 2020; and 12 weeks in 2021.
  • Leave can be taken either all at once or in full-day increments.  You may take the maximum time-off benefit in any given 52-week period.  The 52-week clock starts on the first day you take Paid Family Leave.
  • Eligible reasons include care for an infant (including adoption and fostering); assisting family members with serious health conditions; or when a family member is called to military duty.
  • “Family member” is defined as a child (biological, foster or adoptive), a parent, parent-in-law, a stepparent, a legal guardian, a grandchild, a grandparent, a spouse, or a domestic partner. 
  • Employee must provide written notice and proof of need within 30 days – if need was foreseeable.
  • Employees are eligible after 26 weeks of full time employment. Part time employees are eligible after 175 days, which do not need to be consecutive.

We hope and expect that the District will agree to offer this benefit.  It is self-funded and therefore would represent no additional cost to the District.  And it is very much needed in a profession like ours. We will keep you informed about the progress of our efforts and will provide additional information and details once this provision is successfully negotiated. Meanwhile, please feel free to call (546-2681) or email John Pavone pavrta@aol.com or Martha Keating maskerade6@aol.com with any questions.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President