When I write about the UFT pushing for paid family leave, I am still somewhat surprised by some of the negative comments. The main argument seems to be that having a family is a choice so pay for it yourself.
I can counter that point very easily by saying if we follow that logic, we should end the tax deduction and tax credits for children. Having children is a choice. Take it a step further,why bother educating these children that people choose to have? Why not pay for education yourself parents? By the logic of some people commenting, we should not have public schools nor our jobs. We could end up as a society discouraging children. Children are a major financial liability these days, unlike in an agrarian society, but I am sure glad my parents decided to take on the burden. My parents were both teachers and I wish they had a paid benefit to take care of my brother, sister and me.
Please review some expert research showing that infants bonding with their parents is good for all of us.
If we are willing as a society to accept that paid family leave is a good idea, which New York State has already done in the private sector, the question is how do we pay for it? Since public sector unions in NY have absolutely no credible strike threat, we basically do collective begging and have to give something to get anything. I wonder if people opposing the benefit would be willing to go on strike for anything? What would you strike for? Since a strike for any reason is unthinkable and paid family leave is coming, let's talk cost.
The price the city managers paid was .47% from their raise along with giving up two vacation days. That turned out to be way too expensive as they paid $8 million for $2 million worth of benefits. Therefore, unless Mulgrew is dumber than we think, the cost to us will be significantly lower than what the city managers paid.
Nobody is going to lose their lump sum payments or have their sick bank days cut in half unless UFT generosity is even greater than we think it is but we are going to give back something. My guess is it will be a slightly smaller salary increase in the next contract.
My two kids are beyond the age where I can take advantage of this benefit but I can see myself supporting paid family leave if the price is neutral. That said, the city can afford to give us this benefit free of charge but will not because the city unions including the UFT are so weak that we have no leverage.
People can cry here all they want about not wanting to pay a dime for motherhood, but paid family leave is coming. All we can do is push for the lowest possible cost so the city does not gain from giving parents this benefit.