City of Houston Employees will have Paid Parental Leave!

City of Houston employees will have access to Paid Parental Leave for the first time!

On Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, our Houston City Council unanimously passed a resolution granting all 21,000 city employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave, starting on May 14th.

Last summer, City Council Member Abbie Kamin, who won our HOPE endorsement, took the lead on the growing support for Paid Parental Leave… But she knew she couldn’t do it alone. That’s why she reached out to us!

For months, HOPE members from multiple Departments came together to call, email, and lobby the city council. Several went as far as speaking at city council meetings on the impact Paid Parental Leave would have on us as Employees and the services we provide our city.

“My baby won’t be the last baby of a City Employee,” said new mom Brianna Nelson, a Houston Emergency Center 911 call-taker and HOPE member at Wednesday’s city council meeting. “Paid parental leave gives me the security and peace of mind knowing that I won’t have to choose between time with my baby and the important work I do as a 911 call-taker. When new families are taken care of, we can continue to take care of the families in our community.”

Check out the article in the Houston Chronicle HERE!

HOPE member leader Carmen P. Abrego, a Community Outreach Coordinator for the Libraries and member of the City’s Women’s Commission, said that by coming together, HOPE members are making important improvements to the lives of all city workers.

“Every change we make here, with the City being one of the largest employers in Houston, has a definite impact on the rest of our communities. Because of the activism of our union, this policy will make a significant difference in the lives of so many employees and their families,” said Abrego.

Check out the Facebook Post of Women’s Commission Members with HOPE HERE!

A benefit this big will make a difference in the lives of our surrounding community. In our ever-changing world, we know that parents are recognizing the importance of spending that precious time with their newborn children. They’re making real decisions on where they choose to work based on the opportunity to be there for their families. That’s why changes within a workforce as large as ours in the City of Houston raise the bar on what parental leave should look like for everyone.

This is a big step for us and our City, but it’s certainly not our last. HOPE members are still pushing back against privatization in Public Works, forming Department Labor-Management Committees in Parks and Fire, and gearing up for the upcoming International Convention.

Click HERE to learn about AFSCME 45th International Convention!

Click HERE to Take Action, including Joining HOPE Today!