January 6, 2022 – Need Your Help on This One
New Benefit of Parental and Maternity Leave for Austin Firefighters, Police and EMS.
What we need from you?
- As a citizen, contact the City Manager and tell him you support Maternity and Parental Leave for ALL Public Safety Departments. Spencer Cronk’s # is (512) 974-2200
- Ask your friends and family to do the same
- Share the AFA Facebook Post on Maternity and Parental Leave. www.facebook.com/AustinFirefightersAssociation
What are the details of these new benefits?
The Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) is assisting the mother-friendly workgroup in obtaining Maternity and Family or Parental Leave for ALL public safety employees. The City Council has been very supportive and unanimously passed a resolution on December 9th directing City Manager Cronk to deliver a plan within 30 days to implement both types of leave.
The City Council was very clear with the City Manager that these types of leave should NOT be a bargaining issue and should occur outside the labor agreement, and the AFA could not agree more. Click here for Council Resolution.
ALTHOUGH THE CITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTED THE RESOLUTION, DUE TO A LIMITATION IN THE CITY CHARTER, ONLY THE CITY MANAGER CAN APPROVE THIS LEAVE PROGRAM. That being said, the City Manager has previously expressed that he intends to have us bargain for this benefit.
Here is what’s at stake:
- Parental Leave: Currently granted to ALL City of Austin Employees (including our own AFD civilian counterparts) EXCEPT for Firefighters, Police Officers and EMS Medics. This type of leave provides up to 6 weeks of PAID LEAVE for City of Austin Employees for adoption, foster care placement or the birth of a child.
- Maternity Leave: The proposed Maternity or Pregnancy Leave is for public safety workers to use when recovering from childbirth. This leave would allow these public safety workers the time needed to physically recover from childbirth and to return to the state of conditioning needed to perform at the highest physical level required for Firefighters, Police Officers and EMS Medics.
To help persuade the City Manager to come back with a plan outside the labor agreement, the AFA is leading an effort which includes:
- A persuasion video that was created by the IAFF (click here for video), which features all three Austin Public Safety Labor Associations. This video is a “call to action”, asking citizens to call the City Manager and ask him to support both Parental and Maternity Leave.
- A website with more information on the program: www.austinsafetyfirst.org
- Firefighter (and maybe Police and EMS) phone bank. This is where we need your help! This can be as simple as you and your immediate family members calling the City Manager and asking him to support Parental and Maternity Leave for ALL Public Safety Departments. We encourage each of you to call the City Manager and also to urge three family or friends to do the same. These calls make a huge impact to demonstrate to the City Manager that this is an issue that is important to our membership and to our community.
The City manager has requested an extension from City Council beyond the 30 days specified in the December 9th resolution. This extension will likely be granted so we need to start the effort soon and sustain it until the date of the extension deadline.
What do we need from you? Right now we are just sharing information about this effort and how you can help. We will be in touch again very soon with suggested talking points that can be shared with family and friends as well as a timeline for getting your calls done.
Thank you for helping to make AFD a great place for families to work!