Guess who is vying for re-election?
Update: This was unanimously approved by the council, of course.
From Seattle Times: The Seattle City Council is set to vote Monday on whether to offer city employees up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, rather than the four weeks they are offered now.
Mayor Ed Murray is asking for the change. It was less than two years ago that the council approved the existing benefit for new parents, making Seattle the first city in the Pacific Northwest and one of the first cities in the country to offer paid parental leave.
Employees would become eligible for 12 weeks after working for the city for six months. The benefit would apply not only to births but also to placements of children into homes through adoption, foster care and legal guardianship.
When Councilmember Kshama Sawant proposed 12 weeks of paid parental leave last year, her proposal was voted down.
Monday’s legislation would also give city employees a new benefit — up to four weeks of paid leave to care for family members with serious health conditions. The four weeks would be available every 12 months and employees would need to first use some sick leave and vacation leave.
Extending the parental-leave benefit to 12 weeks would cost the city an additional $2.6 million per year, according to the legislation’s fiscal note. Offering the new family-care benefit would cost an additional $436,000 per year, for a total of about $3 million.
Rather than refer Murray’s legislation to a committee for review and discussion, the council has chosen to take action on it immediately. Seattle has more than 11,000 employees.