Council President Lederman Introduces Resolution Supporting Paid Family/Medical Leave
Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman has introduced a resolution urging the City of Springfield to commit to ensuring that municipal employees receive the same benefits available to private sector and state workers when it comes to accessing paid family & medical leave.
In 2018 Massachusetts enacted the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act to provide paid family leave benefits to almost all private sector workers and state public employees to care for themselves and family members in the wake of illness, injury, pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption, however the law excluded employees of municipal governments.
“Ensuring that city employees have access to paid family and medical leave benefits at the same level as state and private sector workers is fundamental to supporting working families and parents, and for the city to remain competitive as an employer to provide the best services possible to all of our constituents,” said City Council President Jesse Lederman.
Council President Lederman’s resolution urges the city to conduct an audit of all municipal employee benefits to assess which bargaining and non-bargaining unit categories do not currently meet or exceed the benefits provided under the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act, and commit to developing a policy that leads to all municipal employees receiving benefits that meet or exceed those established by the law.
The resolution is being supported by the Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation.
"We believe that we, Springfield municipal employees, should have access to the same state law or a PFML program that is equal to or better than the state plan,” said lifelong Springfield resident Tracy Little-Sasanecki, who is President of the Springfield Educators Association, “We at the SEA have had many members who have become sick, had sick family members or become injured outside of work, become financially insolvent due to being out of work on unpaid leave. We have even had some members lose their houses. This is not OK."
The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees workers at minimum 26 weeks of combined family and medical leave, including at minimum 20 weeks to care for their own serious health condition including illness, injury, or pregnancy/childbirth, 12 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition, up to 12 weeks to bond with their child during the first 12 months after birth, adoption, or placement, 26 weeks to care for a family member who was injured serving in the armed forces, and up to 12 weeks to manage affairs while a family member is on active duty.
The resolution passed the City Council unanimously on April 10th.