Broad coalition calls on city leaders to enact paid family and medical leave for all municipal workers
Posted April 11, 2023 in Press Releases
This afternoon, a broad coalition of 40 organizations sent Mayor Bibb and members of Cleveland City Council a letter calling for the local elected leaders to take bold, swift action to enact a paid family and medical leave policy for all Cleveland municipal employees.
The organizations represent thousands of Cleveland residents including children, families, working people, direct service providers, policy experts, and public school teachers.
The letter highlights the opportunity to enact an evidence-based policy that includes:
Comprehensive coverage for new parents, family caregivers, and personal medical leave;
Adequate leave time that meets actual health and caregiving needs;
Full wage replacement;
Job protection and anti-retaliation protections;
Inclusive definition of family and gender neutral language; and
Accessible eligibility requirements for all union and non-union workers.
Abby Westbrook, a resident and local leader spearheading the effort, said, “At some point, we all need to take time away from work to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child, to care for a sick or dying family member or recover from illness. This caregiving is foundational to our collective health, wellbeing and economic prosperity and should be available without people risking their jobs and economic security. Yet, most workers, including Cleveland municipal workers, currently have no access to paid family and medical leave”.
Will Petrik, Project Director of Policy Matters Ohio said, “13 states and over 100 cities - including Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton - have implemented a Paid Family and Medical Leave policy to support workers in these major life moments. We are heartened to see Cleveland exploring the need for this policy and doing so in a way that would be comprehensive, equitable and inclusive.”
Westbrook continued, “Cleveland has an opportunity to be a state and national leader on this important and long overlooked issue. We’re excited to work collaboratively with city leaders to make this a reality, and we hope to work together to get this enacted by Mother’s Day.”