Too many faculty return to work weeks – and sometimes days – after the birth, adoption, or fostering of a new child.
CFA members have shared their heart wrenching stories of stress, grief, and unfairness, and together we’ve demanded action.
CFA East Bay member Talya Kemper’s two children were born weeks before their due dates and via emergency C-section.
“Because my son was so early, I hadn’t finished lesson planning for the semester. I was grading papers while I was being induced (for labor),” said Kemper, a teacher education associate professor at Cal State East Bay and member of CFA’s Parents and Caregivers Coalition. “I was back at work a few days later.”
After the CSU refused CFA members’ proposals to expand paid parental leave to a full semester during contract bargaining last year, CFA sponsored Assembly Bill 2464. The bill would require that the CSU provide 16 weeks of paid parental leave for all CSU workers following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. The bill now waits for a signature from the Governor.
“What we currently have – 30 days – is not enough. You’re just getting into recovery (after a birth),” Kemper said. “What we’re asking for is the bare minimum. No pregnancy and no birth go as planned. There’s a lot to juggle as a new parent with babies and trying to afford living in California.
Such a bare minimum paid parental leave policy also produces systemic inequality since parenting and caregiving responsibilities fall unequally to women and people of color. By refusing CFA’s attempts during bargaining to correct this systemic inequity, CSU management is reinforcing a long-term equity gap in which the careers of junior, female, and faculty of color are sidetracked.
CFA members interested in joining the Parents and Caregivers Coalition can complete this form.