Cleveland steps up
Posted July 12, 2023 in Press Releases
Cleveland City Council votes to pass paid parental leave for municipal employees
Today, the Cleveland City Council has demonstrated its commitment to improving job quality in Cleveland by passing paid parental leave for the over 7,000 municipal employees serving our city. Under this new policy city employees will have up to 12 weeks of 100% paid leave to welcome a new child into their home. An additional 20 hours of leave is available prior to the child’s arrival. Abby Westbrook, leader of the Ohio Municipal Paid Leave Initiative and Policy Matters Ohio’s executive director, Hannah Halbert issued this statement:
“Passing paid parental leave is an important milestone," said Westbrook. “All working people should be able to care for themselves and their families without risking their job or their economic security. The policy passed today, which is to be extended to all municipal workers, and is an example for other employers, will help create a healthier, more inclusive and more equitable city. We are encouraged that the policy will be extended to union and nonunion workers alike and applaud Mayor Bibb and Council for stepping up and working together for the city’s workforce.
“Paid leave is a cost-effective policy that increases retention, productivity and inclusion in the workplace. It also has positive impacts well beyond the workplace by decreasing stress and promoting time with new children, improving economic security, earning potential, labor force participation — especially for women — and health outcomes for parents and children. This gender-neutral policy recognizes the various configurations of modern families and promotes and supports men to fully engage in early parenting.”
“Community leaders and more than 20 Cleveland organizations called on the City Council and the Bibb administration to pass a comprehensive paid family and medical leave policy for all city workers,” said Halbert. “The policy passed today demonstrates a commitment to raising standards for Cleveland workers, but it does not include critical components of paid caregiving and medical leave, so the work is not finished.
“At some point in all our lives we will need time away from work to manage an illness, or to care for a sick or dying loved one. Comprehensive caregiving and medical leave allows working people to do what’s right by their children and families — and themselves — without risking their job and economic security. We are encouraged by Council President Blaine Griffin's commitment to working on a proposal by Councilwoman Stephanie Howse to expand the policy to include family leave.
“In his Mother’s Day announcement of the proposed policy, Mayor Bibb encouraged other organizations, public and private, to follow suit and make Cleveland an even better place to live, work and raise a family. Passage of this policy is a significant milestone toward making that goal a reality. We all join in Mayor’s Bibb call for other employers to take the same step."