NYC Workers Decry Cost of Parental Leave

     MANHATTAN (CN) – New York City’s new paid parental leave program should not come at the expense of other much-deserved benefits, city employees claim in court.
     The petition filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court stems from a personnel order Mayor Bill Di Blasio signed on Jan. 7 to extend paid parental leave to new fathers, adoptive parents and foster parents.
     To pay for the $15 million program, the city plans to cut two days of annual leave the city gives managers with 15 years of more on the job.
     The managers must also wave goodbye to the 0.47 percent raise originally slated to take effect in July 2017.
     De Blasio’s order guarantees at least six weeks of fully paid parental leave to more than 20,000 managers and nonunionized workers.
     Labor attorney Stuart Salles represents Wasyl Kinach and the five other managers now casting de Blasio’s order as arbitrary and discriminatory.
     Salles announced the lawsuit Monday at the offices of the New York City Managerial Employees Association, joined by the group’s president, Stuart Eber.
     Discussing the case in a phone interview Monday afternoon, Eber slammed de Blasio for having “ruined” a laudable idea like paid parental leave by taking money from the nonunion employees his voluntary association represents.
     “If they had talked to us, we could have come up with a better way,” Eber added.
     Older workers affected by the new cuts are the one’s least likely to benefit from the parental leave that measure guarantees, Eber noted.
     Managers had also only secured the promise of the 0.047 percent raise on Jan. 20, 2015.
     They say elimination of the pay raise and two vacation days is “excessive” and greater than actual cost of the PPL benefit, short for paid parental leave.
     The New York City Managerial Employees Association expects the cuts to effect over 10,000 deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, directors of city agencies and departments including the fire and police departments.
     In addition to di Blasio, respondents to the new petition include New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and Comptroller Scott Stringer.
     Expanding family leave has been a consistent rallying point for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries.

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