4/16/08: On April 15, 2008, the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform amended and reported to the full committee, H.R. 5781, the paid parental leave bill. The measure was introduced by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and expanded upon her bill, H.R 3799, which NTEU National President Colleen Kelley testified in support of at the March 6, 2008 hearing. During consideration of H.R. 5781, an amendment by full committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) passed to provide four weeks of paid leave (instead of eight) and grant OPM the authority to extend this down the road. The Waxman amendment was offered to address the cost and budgetary concerns with the issue.
While NTEU would have preferred eight weeks of paid leave, instead of four, this is the first time the federal government could provide paid parental leave. We believe it is a historic first step and will benefit thousands of NTEU members who are now faced with taking unpaid or no leave. T
he next step will be full committee consideration. NTEU will continue to fight for paid parental leave and work towards enactment of the measure.