CHICAGO — In a move that aligns with the city’s policy and surpasses the majority of school systems nationwide, employees of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will soon be entitled to 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

The issue of parental leave gained significant attention during the mayoral election in January, when the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) accused former Mayor Lori Lightfoot of retracting plans to extend the city’s policy to teachers. At that time, a CPS spokesperson noted that the union and district were actively collaborating to update the existing policy.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, a former CTU organizer and teacher, made an announcement on Thursday regarding the new parental leave policy.

“I am thrilled to begin this work to provide paid parental leave for CPS employees, and proud of the collaboration and partnership between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union that made this important policy goal possible,” stated Johnson.

“With the development of this new parental leave policy, we are furthering our commitment to creating a Chicago that puts the needs of workers and families first.”?  

Currently, the existing CPS policy grants birthing parents a period of six to eight weeks for short-term disability leave.

Non-birth parents who are eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act receive a two-week paid leave.

However, there is a new parental leave policy being introduced that will allow that both birth and non-birth parents will be able to take time off to bond with their newborn or newly adopted or fostered child within the first 12 months of birth or placement.

Gestational surrogates will be entitled to up to eight weeks of paid leave for recovery purposes under this policy.


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