Businesses of all sizes from across the state support Paid Family Leave

As of today, over 100 businesses–the majority of whom are small businesses– have signed on in support of an employee funded expansion of the TDI program to provide all employees with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to welcome a new baby or care for a seriously ill family member. More businesses are signing on every day.

The following business associations and chambers of commerce are in support of the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Act
Greater New York Chamber of Commerce
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Coalition
Bronx Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
NYC LGTB Chamber of Commerce
American Sustainable Business Council
New York Sustainable Business Council
Main Street Alliance
Small Business Majority
Balcony Business and Labor Coalition

The following Small Business Majority business members are in support of New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Act
AEN Consulting, Inc., Syracuse
Cardiac Life Products, Rochester
Elizabeth Burke CPA, New York
Fnbexpress, Queens
Global ESL Academy, Great Neck
GRANT engineering, New York
Great Lakes Car Co., LLC, New York
PMC Energy Services, Inc., Walworth
RiverPark Capital LLC, New York
Singleton Construction Consultants, New York
The Asphalt Doctor Inc., East Greenbush
The Deep End Pool and Patio LLC, Bellport
Tigress Financial Partners, New York
Umbrella Network Solutions LLC, New York

The following American Sustainable Business Council members are in support of the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Act
Bates Apartments, Morrisonville
Eileen Fisher, New York
Francis Financial, New York
Hollender Sustainable Brands, New York
Iva Kaufman & Associates, New York
J Risman & Risman P.C., New York
Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, New York
Manufacture New York, Brooklyn
Mpowerd, New York
Peruvian Connection, New York
Philosophy in Action Group, New York
Re>Think Local, Beacon
Redcircle International Inc, Port Jefferson
SBP, Briarcliff Manor
Singlebrook Technologies, Ithaca
Technorati Media, New York
UncommonGoods, Brooklyn
Vintage Loft Of Nyc, New York
Z + H Architects, New York

The following have signed the New York Paid Family Leave Campaign’s business sign on letter.
99 Cent and More, Albany
Alebrijes Mexican, Kingston
Allen Street Pub, Albany
Amalgamated Bank, New York
Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, New York
Annick Designs, Troy
Antique Warehouse, Troy
Around the Corner Catering, Pulteney
Big Belli, Cliffside Park
Biomed Communications, Johnstown
Bluebird, Troy
Boitson’s Restaurant, Kingston
Boldo’s Armony, Rochester
Byrnes and Associate, Bohemia
Catskill Cycles, Catskill
Cricket’s Circle, New York
Cronin Enterprises, Inc., Elmsford
CyrCraft Customs, Rochester
designing the WE, New York
Dominick’s Cafe, Kingston
Donut N. Diner, Rochester
Dream Weavers Salon, Kingston
Ehle & Barnett Family Funeral Fome, LLC, Johnstown
Ellipse, Kingston
Fingerpaint Marketing, Saratoga Springs
Gargoyles LTD, Kingston
Garland Family Funeral Homes, Syracuse
Go Green Technology Inc, New York
Heavy Light Show, Bearsville
Hernas Veterinary Clinic, Schenectady
Hodgson Russ LLP, Buffalo
ICON Photo, Rochester
Innovation Printing & Promotions, Inc, New York
Intemporelle Tattoo, Saugerties
Js Business Broker, East Setauket
Just J Repairs and Cabling Services, Albany
Karma Tattoo, Kingston
Katie O Events, Troy
La Grande Meat Market, Albany
Lagusta’s Luscious Chocolate Shop, New Paltz
Lincoln Pharmacy, Albany
Lupulo, New York
MA Design, Brooklyn
Makespace, New York
Managed by Q, New York
Menands Discount Liquors, Menands
Mi Casa Es Su Casa, New York
Mountain T-Shirts Inc., Catskill
Muddaddy Flats LLC, Troy
New Shelves Books, Pittsford
New York Lunch, Gloversville
NY City Explorers Academy, Brooklyn
Of-the-Essence Holistic Wellness, Troy
Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady
Outdated Cafe, Kingston
Pearl St. Diner, Albany
Provisions Woodstock LLC, Woodstock
Raquette River Baking Co, Babylon
Revolution Bicycles, Saugerties
Riva Jewelry, Brooklyn
River Rocks, Troy
Shagunka Restaurant, Albany
Shatzkin Systems, Croton Harmon
Single Parent Resource Center, Inc., New York
Spill’n the Beans, Troy
Stoney Associates, Mohegan Lake
Superba Graphics, Brooklyn
The Ale Hopuse, Troy
The Book Outlet, Troy
The Shop, Troy
Triple Crown Sports Bar & Grill, Rochester
Working Mother Media, New York
Wylde Child Productions, Inc., Brooklyn
Young Enterprises, Gloversville
YR&G, New York

Advocates Applaud Governor Cuomo for Commitment to Pass Paid Family Leave

For Immediate Release: January 13, 2015
Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

New York, NY – Following the State of the State address, advocates from the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign released the following statement in praise of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to passing paid family leave legislation in 2016:

“With Governor Cuomo’s commitment to passing paid family leave, we are one step closer to ensuring that no New Yorker has to choose between her family’s health and financial security. We applaud the Governor’s leadership on this crucial issue, and look forward to working together with the Governor and state legislature to make paid family leave a reality in 2016.”

New Yorkers should not have to choose between their paycheck and caring for their loved ones. The Paid Family Leave Insurance Act (A.3870 Nolan/S.3004 Addabbo), which passed the Assembly last session, would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, and deal with issues that arise when a family member is called to active military service.

The legislation would create a paid family leave insurance benefit that is employee-paid, through small payroll deductions that start at just 45 cents and rise to roughly 88 cents a week over four years. The bill would also modernize New York’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program, the critical support system for new mothers physically recovering from childbirth, which is currently frozen at the 1989 rate of $170 per week. This would mean a small cost shared between employees and employers – one that would not be burdensome for businesses and is woefully overdue.

The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign consists of a diverse group of women’s organizations, children’s advocates, labor and public health leaders, advocates for seniors and those with chronic disease, and community and faith-based organizations. The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign’s Steering Committee consists of 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, A Better Balance, Citizen Action of New York, Community Service Society, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Paid Leave Coalition, the NYS AFL-CIO, New York Statewide Senior Action Council, and the Working Families Organization.

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170 of New York’s leading women call on state leadership to pass paid family leave in 2016

Governor Cuomo & Senate Majority Leader Flanagan: Make paid family leave a priority in 2016

With the 2016 legislative session about to begin, women in every region of New York are speaking with one voice: it’s time for paid family leave.

We, and the businesses, labor unions, organizations, constituents, and taxpayers we represent, urge you to make passing a strong paid family leave bill a top priority in the coming legislative session. With only 12% of private sector workers able to take time away from work in the event of a family emergency or the arrival of a new child, New York women need decisive action now. Our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends can’t afford to wait another year.

Paid family leave is one of the most important economic and health issues for women across the United States and here in New York. With 71% of us now juggling full-time employment with primary caretaker responsibilities for both our parents and children, we need economic policy that reflects the reality of the changing workforce. Without paid family leave, too many women are forced to leave their jobs to care for new children or ill family members; others return to work too soon after having a baby, long before it is healthy or prudent to do so.

The situation for low-income women is even more impossible. One in five New York women live in low-income households where even a week without a paycheck could wipe out their entire savings. Women who are unable to take leave after the birth of a child are 40% more likely to be forced onto public assistance or food stamps. Paid family leave would not only alleviate these problems – it can also increase a woman’s workforce participation and lifetime earning potential.Thankfully, a movement is growing for paid family leave. 81% of Americans – including 65% of Republicans – believe that having paid time off to care for family members is “good for our nation.” In New York, 8 out of 10 small business owners support extending our state’s Temporary Disability Insurance program to include paid family leave, and nearly 300 New York healthcare professionals and associations have attested to its immense health benefits.

New York risks falling behind. States like California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey have had successful paid family leave policies for years, and more states are exploring similar legislation. Paid leave is now an important issue for candidates running for President, and has become broadly recognized as a common-sense solution to dire problems facing women – everywhere, it seems, but in Albany. For the past decade, a strong bill has been introduced and passed in the Assembly – now, the State Senate must truly stand behind women’s equality and make this legislation a reality.

Women are driving New York’s economy forward – we, and the families we love, should not have to endure another year without paid family leave. Governor Cuomo and Senator Flanagan: we are looking for your leadership on this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Gloria Steinem
Activist; Author

Cynthia Nixon
Actor

Roxanne J. Persaud
Senator
New York State Senate

Liz Krueger
Senator
New York State Senate

Catherine Nolan
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Michaelle C. Solages
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Latrice Monique Walker
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Nily Rozic
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Alicia Hyndman
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Rebecca A. Seawright
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Latrice M. Walker
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Michelle Schimel
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Aravella Simotas
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Shelley Mayer
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Jo Anne Simon
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Ellen C. Jaffee
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Kimberly Jean- Pierre
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Linda B. Rosenthal
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Sandra Galef
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Pamela Harris
Assemblywoman
New York State Assembly

Letitia James
Public Advocate
City of New York

Gale Brewer
Borough President
Manhattan

Joanne Yepsen
Mayor
Saratoga Springs

Stephanie Miner
Mayor
City of Syracuse

Kathy Sheehan
Mayor
City of Albany

Tiffany Martin Hamilton
Mayor Elect
City of Hudson

Cara Birrittieri
Mayor Elect
Village of Lakewood

Monica R. Martinez
Legislator
Suffolk County

Catherine Borgia
Legislator
Westchester County

Kari Rieser
Legislator
Dutchess County

Maryjane Shimsky
Legislator
Westchester County

Kari Rieser
Legislator
Dutchess County

Roseanne Sullivan
Legislator
Orange County

Barbara Jeter-Jackson
Legislator
Dutchess County

Martha Robertson
Legislator
Tompkins County

Susan labuhn
Legislator
Cattaraugus County

Alison Mclean Lane
Legislator
County of Albany

Kara Hahn
Legislator
Suffolk County

Manna Jo Greene
Legislator
Ulster County

Helen T. Rose
Legislator
Herkimer County Legislature

Cynthia B. Doran
Legislator
Rensselaer County Legislature

Judy Jacobs
Legislator
Nassau County

Leslyn McBean-Clairborne
Legislator
Tompkins County Legislature

Laura Curran
Legislator
Nassau County Legislature

Kate Browning
Legislator
Suffolk County Legislature

Harmony Speciale
Legislator
Oneida County

Tracey Bartels
Legislator
Ulster County

Aileen McNabb-Coleman
Legislator Elect
Cayuga County Legislator

Kristen Grandinetti
City Councilwoman
City Council of Niagara Falls

Heather S. Campbell
City Treasurer
City of Hudson

Amanda Septimo
Candidate
New York City Council

Tremaine Wright
Candidate
New York State Assembly

Denise Murphy McGraw
Councilwoman
Town of Niskayuna

Stephanie Hausner
Councilwoman
Town of Clarkstown

Catherine M. Fahey
Councilwoman
City of Albany

Karen Mejia
Councilwoman
City of Newburgh

Milagros Lecuona
Councilwoman
City of White Plains

Sylvia Overby
Councilwoman
Town of East Hampton

Nadine Hunt-Robinson
Councilwoman
White Plains Common Council

Peggy Ross
Councilwoman
City of Beacon City

Dia Carabajal
Councilwoman
City Of Auburn

Anna Kaplan
Councilwoman
Town of North Hempstead

Judy L. Doesschate, Esq
Councilwoman
Albany Common Council

Julissa Ferreras
Councilwoman
New York City Council

Milagros Lecuona
Councilwoman
White Plains Common Council

Anissa D. Moore
Councilwoman Elect
City of Long Beach

Molly Clifford
Councilwoman Elect
Rochester City Council

Viviana Russell
Councilwoman; Professional Development and Communications Manager
Town of North Hempstead; Mom-mentum

Sarah Imboden
Councilwoman Elect
Town of Red Hook

Laura Walls
Councilwoman Elect
Town of Gardiner

Jeanne Mettler
Boardmember
Town of Copake

Willa Powell
Commissioner of Education
Rochester City School District

Elizabeth Hallmark
Commissioner of Education
Rochester City School District

Katherine Sojewicz
Commissioner of Education Elect
Syracuse City School District

Michele Madigan
Commissioner of Finance
City of Saratoga Springs

Jodie Gilheany
Commissioner of Finance
City of Mechanicville

Gloria Fried
Receiver of Taxes
Town of Ossining

Dorcey Applyrs
Common Councilwoman
City of Albany

Johanna Coleman
Supervisor Elect
Town of Lancaster

Diane Marco
Town Clerk
Town of Rotterdam

Cathy Rybczynski
Town Clerk
Town of Hamburg

Holly Netter
Town Clerk
Town of Esopus

Elaine Spaull
Vice President and Councilwoman; Executive Director
Rochester City Council; The Center for Youth

Catherine Magarelli
Town Council
Woodstock

Johanna Kiernan
Town Councilwoman
Town of Blooming Grove

Regina Hunt
Trustee
Board of Education

Cynthia Brock
Alderwoman
City of Ithaca

Carmen Pineyro
Trustee
Village of Freeport

Maribel Toure
Vice President
Village of Hempstead Board of Education

Christy Turlington Burns
Founder, Chair
Every Mother Counts

Ai-jen Poo
Director
National Domestic Workers Alliance

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner
Co-Founder and Executive Director
MomsRising.org

Cynthia DiBartolo
Chairperson
Greater NY Chamber of Commerce

Suzy Ballantyne
Co-Chair
New York Women’s Equality Coalition

Marie C. Wilson
President Emerita
Ms. Foundation for Women

Jennifer Jones Austin
CEO and Executive Director
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Deborah King
Chair
New York Union Child Care Coalition

Karen Scharff
Co-Chair
Working Families Party

Deborah Axt
Co-Executive Director
Make the Road New York

Tracy Sturdivant and Vivien Labaton
Co-Director/Co-Director
Make It Work Campaign

Brette McSweeney
Executive Director
Eleanor’s Legacy

Beth Finkel
New York State Director
AARP

Sonia Ossorio
President
National Organization for Women – New York

Karen Magee
President
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)

Andrea Miller
President
NARAL Pro-Choice New York

Heather McGee
President
Demos

Shaunna Thomas
Co-Founder
UltraViolet

Donna Lieberman
Executive Director
New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU)

Jill Furillo
Executive Director
New York State Nurses Association

Samantha Berg
Executive Vice President
Amalgamated Bank

Michele Lynch
Political Director
1199 SEIU

Alison Hirsh
Political Director
32BJ SEIU

Julie Kushner
Regional Director
UAW Region 9A

Coraminita Mahr
Vice President
1199 United Healthcare Workers East/SEIU

Sondra Youdelman
Executive Director
Community Voices Heard Power Inc.

Marjorie Ives
Director
Women’s City Club of NY

Elizabeth Isakson
Co-Director
Docs for Tots

Lois Uttley
Director
Raising Women’s Voices-NY

Nancy Rankin
Vice President for Policy Research and Advocacy
Community Service Society

Sherry Leiwant
Co-Founder & Co-President
A Better Balance

Dina Bakst
Co-Founder & Co-President
A Better Balance

Katha Pollitt
Columnist
The Nation

Martha Baker
Consultant
New York Paid Family Leave Campaign

Jon Wegienek
Co-President
Westchester NOW

Nina Dawson
Credentials Coordinator
HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley

Jennifer Tuttle
Deputy Director of Politics and Legislation for Upstate New York
Communication Workers of America

Lisa Tyson
Director
Long Island Progressive Coalition

Renée Wilson-Simmons
Director
National Center for Children in Poverty

Nomiki Konst
Director
The Accountability Project

Amy McBride
Director of Family Child Care and Professional Development
Rochester Childfirst Network

Sara K. Gould
Co-Director, Steinem Initiative
Smith College

Jessica Klos Shapiro
Director of Policy and Community Education
Early Care & Learning Council

Minerva Solla
Director, Hudson Valley Political and Community Organizing
New York State Nurses Association

Kate Pfordresher
Director, Research and Public Policy
Professional Staff Congress, AFT Local 2334

Ruth Milkman
Distinguished Professor
CUNY Graduate Center

Norma Hannigan
Doctor
Hunter College, CUNY

Jennifer Owens
Editorial Director
Working Mother Media

Donna Dolan
Executive Director
New York Paid Leave Coalition

M. Dove Kent
Executive Director
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Sheri Scavone
Executive Director
WNY Women’s Foundation

Anita Halasz
Executive Director
Long Island Jobs with Justice

Christine Sadowski
Executive Director
YWCA Orange County

Nancy Kolben
Executive Director
Center for Children’s Initiatives

Sara Niccoli
Executive Director
Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State

Wendy Burch
Executive Director
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-NYS

Heather Beaudoin
Founder
SeedLinc

Diana Cihak
Founder
WomenElect

Susan Ochshorn
Founder
ECE PolicyWorks

Sarah Jaffe
Journalist

Carol Ann Lemon RN-BC
Lobbyist
NYSNA

Susan Vierczhalek
MD
New York State Breastfeeding Coalition

Rachael Lerner, NP-BC
Nurse Practitioner and Health Advocate
Nurse Practitioners of New York

Carolyn Lee-Davis
Policy Director
The Children’s Agenda

Courtney Brunelle
Political Action Representative
AFSCME

Dana Alas
Political Director, Upstate New York
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

Denise Duncan
President
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)-NYS

Harilyn Rousso
President
Disabilities Unlimited Consulting Services

Beverly Cooper Neufeld
President and Founder
PowHer New York

Ellen Gurzinsky
Principle
WindowBox Coaching and Consulting

Sharon Lerner
Reporter
Freelance

Mary Beth Morrissey, Esq., PhD, MPH
Researcher and Policy Advocate (Immediate Past President of PHANYC)
Public Health Association of New York City

Rona Taylor
Secretary
Shirley Chisholm Democratic Club

Jessica Dowsett
Senior Field Coordinator
Capital District Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Donna Seymour
Vice President
American Association of University Women, New York State

Iman Abid
Western Region Vice President
New York State Young Democrats

Rochester Rallies for Paid Family Leave

For Immediate Release: November 4, 2015
Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

Business owners, faith leaders, labor, and women’s advocates call on state legislature to enact paid leave in 2016

Journalist Sharon Lerner discusses devastating effects of the lack of paid family leave on mothers and infants

Rochester, NY – Rochester business owners, faith leaders, labor groups, and women’s equality advocates rallied for paid family leave at a press conference Wednesday, kicking off weeks of action across New York State in support of this crucial legislation for working families.

Speakers urged the State Legislature to pass paid family leave in the upcoming session, following growing local and national momentum in the past year. The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign was joined by local businesswoman Amy Collins, owner of New Shelves Books; Fernan Cepero, Chief Human Resources Officer at the YMCA of Greater Rochester; KaeLyn Rich, Director of the Genesee Valley Chapter of NYCLU and Regional Director of the Women’s Equality Coalition; Melanie Funchess, Director of Community Engagement at the Mental Health Association; and Sharon Lerner, journalist and author of “The Real War on Families: Why the U.S. Needs Paid Leave Now.”

“Paid family leave will help level the playing field for New York women, while strengthening and ensuring the health of our families and our economy,” said KaeLyn Rich, Director of the Genesee Valley Chapter of NYCLU and Regional Director of the Women’s Equality Coalition.

“I really do love my job. However, I love my wife more,” said Fernan Cepero, Chief Human Resources Officer at the YMCA of Greater Rochester, whose wife is suffering from breast cancer. “So now at a time when she needs me the most, I can only give her .01% of the 84,000 hours I will give my employer in a lifetime. I don’t fault my employer at all for this. It is time to change the cult of work in our country to a culture of balance between work and family.”

“Family leave insurance would help both employees and employers by giving workers the economic peace of mind they need to remain productive at the workplace and provide invaluable care for their loved ones,” said AARP Associate State Director William Armbruster. “As our population ages, the demands will only increase on a shrinking pool of potential family caregivers – who provide compassionate and cost-effective care helping our frail elderly age at home – where most want to stay. The time for family leave insurance is now.”

“The recent research I conducted with In These Times raised an alarm for all of us concerned with the health of women and infants,” said journalist and author Sharon Lerner. “Mothers who feel forced, out of economic necessity, to go back to work as early as two weeks are stressed at home and distracted and depressed at work. They are less likely to breastfeed or to get their children in for immunizations or check ups. And we are just beginning to learn about the long-term impact on children of a lack of critical bonding time and positive social interaction with trusted caregivers during infancy.”

“This program will allow us to give our employees the peace of mind of knowing that when and if the time comes that they need to take time for a family medical or caretaker crisis, they can. It will also give business owners the peace of mind of knowing that if that time comes, we can cover the employee’s time and workload,” said Amy Collins, owner of New Shelves Books.

Also present at Wednesday’s event were representatives from AAUW Greater Rochester Branch; Greater Rochester Branch, Citizen Action of New York; League of Women Voters, Monroe County; NewShelves.com; NYCLU Rochester; NYSUT; Metro Justice, Planned Parenthood Central and Western NY; Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO; 1199/SEIU; The Children’s Agenda; YWCA of Rochester; and the YMCA of Greater Rochester.

New Yorkers should not have to choose between their paycheck and caring for their loved ones. The Paid Family Leave Insurance Act (A.3870 Nolan/S.3004 Addabbo), which passed the Assembly in March, would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, and deal with issues that arise when a family member is called to active military service.

The legislation would create a paid family leave insurance benefit that is employee-paid, through small payroll deductions that start at just 45 cents and rise to roughly 88 cents a week over four years. The bill would also modernize New York’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program, the critical support system for new mothers physically recovering from childbirth, which is currently frozen at the 1989 rate of $170 per week. This would mean a small cost shared between employees and employers – one that would not be burdensome for businesses and is woefully overdue.

The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign consists of a diverse group of women’s organizations, children’s advocates, labor and public health leaders, advocates for seniors and those with chronic disease, and community and faith-based organizations. The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign’s Steering Committee consists of 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, A Better Balance, Citizen Action of New York, Community Service Society, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Paid Leave Coalition, the NYS AFL-CIO, New York Statewide Senior Action Council, and the Working Families Organization.

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Great Kingston Kick Off!

Thank you to everyone who worked to make our Kingston kick off event, Paid Family Leave in 2016, a great success!!!

Kingston(3)

We had about 30 people present, including members from 1199 SEIU, AARP, Citizen Action, CSEA Local 108, HPWU- Postal Workers, KFST, NYCLU, NYSNA, Planned Parenthood Mid Hudson Valley, Midtown Rising, UUP and Wallkill School.

A special thanks to the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation for hosting and providing our refreshments, to to our Keynote Speaker, Nancy Rankin who helped us find our outrage; to each of our panelists who made the issue local and personal; and to Minerva Solla who inspired us to think of ways to carry the campaign forward. Local electeds and candidates were also present, including Mike Hein who welcomed us along with Paul Ellis-Graham of NYSUT, Doug Koop, Kingston City Council, Jennifer Schwartz Berky, candidate for Ulster County Legislature and Steve Noble, candidate for Mayor of Kingston. Aileen Gunther was represented by Allison Horan.

We collected postcards and ideas for further action and will be scheduling a conference call to plan next steps soon.

Blue Carreker
Upstate Organizer, NY Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign

Groups Applaud Senate Republicans’ Comments on Paid Family Leave

For Immediate Release: October 1, 2015
Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign Encouraged by Momentum for Employee-Funded Program

Albany, NY – In response to comments on paid family leave made by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and State Senator Jack Martins, the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign released the following statement:

“We applaud Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and Senator Martins for continuing to explore the possibility of an employee-funded paid family leave program here in New York — a program that would improve the health and economic stability of our state’s working families. The Assembly passed strong legislation this year that would provide 12 weeks of paid leave, funded by modest employee payroll deductions, and modernize our state’s Temporary Disability Insurance program for the first time since 1989, through a small shared cost to employees and employers. We are encouraged by the ongoing discussions around this crucially important legislation, and look forward to its passage in the upcoming session.”

The Paid Family Leave Insurance Act (A.3870 Nolan/S.3004 Addabbo), which passed the Assembly in March, would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, and deal with issues that arise when a family member is called to active military service.

The paid family leave insurance benefit is employee-paid, through small payroll deductions that start at just 45 cents and rise to roughly 88 cents a week over four years. The law does not create a new administrative requirement, but rather expands New York’s existing Temporary Disability Insurance program (TDI) through a small increase in premiums that would continue to be shared by employers and employees, as they are now. The legislation would also raise the TDI benefit for the first time in 26 years.

The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign consists of a diverse group of women’s organizations, children’s advocates, labor and public health leaders, advocates for seniors and those with chronic disease, and community and faith-based organizations. The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign’s Steering Committee consists of 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, A Better Balance, Citizen Action of New York, Community Service Society, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Paid Leave Coalition, the NYS AFL-CIO and the Working Families Organization.

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New York State’s Major Senior Advocacy Organizations Call for Paid Family Leave

June 10, 2015

Dear Governor Cuomo and Members of the State Legislature,

No daughter should have to choose between keeping a roof over her head and being able to care for a seriously ill parent. No father should have to miss the first weeks of a new child’s life in order to afford to put food on the table. No hard-worker should lose her job because she choses to care for a family member in a time of need. During these critical life moments, New Yorkers should not have to choose between their family’s health and their financial stability.

Families across the state are suffering without access to paid family leave. 12 percent of private sector workers, and only 5 percent of the lowest wage workers, receive paid family leave from their employers. This forces a tremendous number of workers across New York to take unpaid leave, risk job loss, and suffer a huge financial toll when these major life events occur.

Paid family leave policies have a chance to build loyalty between employees and employers. The value of being able to care for a chronically or seriously ill parent, or be present for the first weeks of a newborn’s life, is immeasurable. Members of the healthcare community agree; allowing family members to spend time with a loved one during a period of illness leads to better outcomes for patients and for public health.

The momentum around paid family leave has grown in Albany and around our state. We would like to thank all those who are calling for the passage of the Paid Family Leave Insurance Act (S. 3004) in the Senate and those in the State Assembly who have already taken action to pass the same bill (A.3870) in March.

This is a critical issue and a commonsense solution for families around New York, and we urge those who have yet to add their support for paid family leave to do so now. This legislation would provide workers in New York State with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave a year to care for a seriously ill family member or a new child, bringing greater financial stability to thousands of New Yorkers and their families.

New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island already provide paid family leave through their Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs, and New York could do the same. The proposed legislation would raise TDI, which hasn’t been raised in decades; the small cost would be shared by employers and employees. The additional cost of a paid family leave program would be shouldered exclusively by employees.

It is time to make New York next. New York should join other cities and states that have made paid family leave a reality. We hope to count on your leadership to help make that happen.

Sincerely,

AARP New York
New York Statewide Senior Action Council
New York State Alliance for Retired Americans

Supporters of Paid Family Leave Call for Immediate Passage in the Senate

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2015
Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

Advocates and Impacted New Yorkers Meet with Senators, Urge them to Pass Crucial Protection for Working Families

Albany, NY – During a lobby day Wednesday, advocates and New Yorkers without paid family leave met with Senators and called on them to support the Paid Family Leave Insurance Act before the end of session.

At a press conference, supporters highlighted the impossible choice between their family’s health and economic stability that far too many New Yorkers are faced with. They held signs reading, “When a new baby arrives, should you have to worry that a few weeks home means not being able to pay the rent?” and “When your dad is battling cancer, should you have to worry that helping him means not being able to pay your bills?”

The lobby day comes on the heels of strategy meetings held in seven cities across the state last week. In each region, labor and community leaders identified local actions and events to mobilize citizens between now and the end of the legislative session. Over 6,000 postcard petitions were distributed, as well as instructions for how constituents can call and write to their local Senate offices to show support.

“The time is now to approve a paid family leave program that would enable New York’s working men and women to better balance their needs on the home front with their equally pressing responsibilities on the work front. This legislation would provide families with the long-overdue opportunity to take time off from work, without completing sacrificing their paychecks, to care for new babies or sick family members. No one should be forced to go bankrupt, and choose between work and their loved ones, at times of greatest family need,” said Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

“As the Senate sponsor of this legislation, I am delighted that the State Assembly has approved this bill, and I hope my legislative chamber will follow suit. While federal law permits up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave, the United States remains the only advanced country in the world that does not give workers paid support when they need it the most. Given the unprecedented momentum with regard to obtaining paid family leave in New York, I believe that it’s not a question of if the legislation will pass, but merely when,” concluded Addabbo.

“Paid family leave means New Yorkers not having to choose between their job and a loved one in need — that’s a big deal for parents, kids, caregivers and our economy,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “I continue to urge my Republican colleagues to allow us to pass this needed legislation. I look forward to continuing our push with the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign and all the advocates, my colleagues, and families across the state.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “No New Yorker should have to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of their family.  I applaud Assembly Member Nolan for her leadership in passing this bill, which will ensure critical protections for all working families, and I urge the Senate leadership to bring Senator Addabbo’s bill to the floor for a vote.”

“As a Cosponsor for S.3004, I am proud to stand here with my Democratic colleagues today in supporting the commonsense policy issue that is paid family leave. Our generation’s workforce faces a growing income inequality gap that makes it increasingly difficult for our middle class to get by, let alone thrive. This problem is exacerbated by the inability of workers to take reasonable time from their jobs to tend to an injury, sickness, pregnancy, or care for a loved one without any sort of income to provide for their family. I will work tirelessly with my Democratic colleagues to continue pushing for this legislation so that we change this unfortunate reality and finally do right by the workers and families of New York State,” said New York State Senator Marc Panepinto, 60th Senate District

“Working men and women in this state and across the country should not be forced to choose between nurturing a newborn or caring for a sick family member and paying the bills. The Labor Movement has fought hard for working families and we will continue that effort until we achieve our goal of ensuring workers are able to put family first. New York has an opportunity to stand up for what’s right and set an example for the nation in recognizing the importance of family leave. It’s the right thing to do,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.

“For almost every New Yorker, there will come a time in our lives when we need to care for a newborn child, an aging parent or grandparent, or a seriously ill family member. Yet most of us can’t take paid time off from work to do so. That’s why it’s imperative that Albany pass the Paid Family Leave Act. Because no one should have to choose between putting food on the table or caring for a loved one,” said Janel Quarless, NY Working Families Legislative Campaigns Manager.

“Paid family leave would be a godsend to countless stressed family caregivers who worry about making ends meet while caring for the people they love. For many, receiving continuing income and knowing they can return to their job will prevent financial and emotional disaster. As our society continues aging, a family paid leave policy will be both compassionate and cost-effective by supporting caregivers in their invaluable work to care for our frail elderly at home, rather than leaving them no choice but to send their loved ones to institutional settings that are far more expensive for both families and taxpayers,” said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York.

“While lack of paid family leave is an issue affecting all New Yorkers with family responsibilities, it is especially acute for working women and new moms struggling to get by on low wages,” said Nancy Rankin, Vice President for Policy Research and Advocacy at Community Service Society. “Many of them are forced to return to work when their infants are just two or three weeks old.  As Mothers’ Day approaches, we hope the Senate will pass paid family leave legislation so that all moms have the time and financial security they need to give their new babies a healthy start.”

“During these last six weeks of the legislative session, we are calling on the NYS Senate to pass a paid family leave bill, so that workers in this state no longer experience financial insecurity when they need time off to welcome a new baby or to care for a dying parent. New York State needs to take the Lead on Leave and become the next and fourth state in the country to pass paid family leave. There is no better present to give your mother on Mother’s Day. Forget the flowers and the chocolates and give her something she really needs – paid family leave,” said Donna Dolan, Executive Director of the New York Paid Leave Coalition.

The Paid Family Leave Insurance Act (A.3870 Nolan/S.3004 Addabbo), which passed the Assembly in March, would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, and deal with issues that arise when a family member is called to active military service.

The paid family leave insurance benefit is entirely employee-paid, through small payroll deductions that start at just 45 cents and rise to roughly 88 cents a week over four years. The law does not create a new administrative requirement, but rather expands New York’s existing Temporary Disability Insurance program (TDI) through a small increase in premiums that would continue to be shared by employers and employees, as they are now. The legislation would also raise the TDI benefit for the first time in 26 years.

The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign consists of a diverse group of women’s organizations, children’s advocates, labor and public health leaders, advocates for seniors and those with chronic disease, and community and faith-based organizations. The Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign’s Steering Committee consists of 1199 SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, A Better Balance, Citizen Action of New York, Community Service Society, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Paid Leave Coalition, the NYS AFL-CIO and the Working Families Organization

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More than Fifty Women Lawmakers, Leaders, and Organizations Respond to Governor Cuomo with Letter Urging Action on Paid Family Leave

Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

Signers, Including Advocates for Women’s Equality Agenda, Refute Governor’s Recent Statement that Albany has “No Appetite” for Paid Family Leave Legislation

Letter Comes on the Heels of Senate Republicans’ Inclusion of Paid Family Leave Program in Budget Proposal

New York, NY – Fifty-seven women lawmakers, leaders, and organizations have signed an open letter to Governor Cuomo urging immediate action on paid family leave. Released today by the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign, the letter addresses the Governor’s recent comment that there is “no appetite” for paid family leave legislation in Albany.

The letter comes on the heels of news that the Senate Republicans would include a paid family leave program in their budget proposal, and participate in a joint hearing of the Labor and Social Service committees that will address paid family leave later this week.

Women elected leaders who signed the letter include Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Senator Liz Krueger, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assembly Member Shelley Mayer, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, Assemblywoman Addy Russell, Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. They are joined by the Women’s Equality Coalition, League of Women Voters of New York State, and the leaders of organizations championing equal pay, reproductive rights, access to childcare, and more.

Albany’s appetite for change, you stated, is satiated by other policies that seek to advance women’s equality, and which deserve to be addressed first. We respectfully disagree,” the letter reads.

“As women lawmakers, representatives of women’s organizations, and advocates for the Women’s Equality Agenda, we write to tell you that New Yorkers are, in fact, quite hungry for paid family leave, and the economic security it would bring to our communities and our families. The time for this issue has come. New York should step forward as a leader.”

The letter goes on to note that New York could easily become the next state to implement paid family leave. Like the three states that already have paid family leave – California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island – the program could piggyback on New York’s existing Temporary Disability Insurance fund (TDI).

“Unlike other states working hard to find money to create a new paid family leave program, New York has an existing structure that can easily be expanded to include care of new children and family members. Creating this program will cost our state nothing, while providing critical support for families,” the letter goes on to say.

Read the letter in its entirety below:

Dear Governor Cuomo,

We write in response to your recent remarks that New York lacks the “appetite” to pass paid family leave legislation. Albany’s appetite for change, you stated, is satiated by other policies that seek to advance women’s equality, and which deserve to be addressed first.

We respectfully disagree. As women lawmakers, representatives of women’s organizations, and advocates for the Women’s Equality Agenda, we write to tell you that New Yorkers are, in fact, quite hungry for paid family leave, and the economic security it would bring to our communities and our families. The time for this issue has come. New York should step forward as a leader.

From wage discrimination to paid family leave, policies that advance gender equity work in tandem. Indeed, the lack of paid family leave is a key contributor to women’s lower pay and inequality, and it further impacts fathers, seniors, newborns, the chronically ill, and our economy as a whole.

Why paid family leave now? Because, as our President rightfully recognized in his State of the Union address, the U.S. is “the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.”

Because voters on both sides of the aisle overwhelmingly agree on the issue, and that government has a responsibility to provide such policies that reflect the realities of modern families. Statewide, 7 out of 10 voters support modernizing our Temporary Disability Insurance system to provide paid family leave, according to a Marist poll. In NYC, support has grown to 84%, with the latest Community Service Society/Lake survey finding that 2 out of 3 New Yorkers strongly support paid family leave.

Because doctors have found that policies allowing family members to be with their loved ones through an illness are good for the health of their patients; and because economists know it keeps women in the workforce and increases their earning potential – without hurting businesses small or large.

And because New York is the only state besides Hawaii that has a Temporary Disability Insurance program that has not been expanded to include paid family leave. Unlike other states working hard to find money to create a new paid family leave program, New York has an existing structure that can easily be expanded to include care of new children and family members. Creating this program will cost our state nothing, while providing critical support for families.

Paid family leave would ensure that no New Yorker has to choose between the health and economic stability of her family. It would mean that the major life moments we all share – the arrival of a new child, or a close relative needing care – do not have to mean debt or bankruptcy.

As a national consensus grows around the issue, the appetite for paid family leave in New York State only grows. And thus, we call on you to join us in supporting and pressing for a paid family leave policy that not only advances women, but all of New York.

Sincerely,

Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Senate Democratic Leader

Ruth Hassell-Thompson
Senator

Liz Krueger
Senator

Velmanette Montgomery
Senator

Toby Ann Stavisky
Senator

Shelley Mayer
Assembly Member

Nily Rozic
Assemblywoman

Addy Russell
Assemblywoman

Michaelle C. Solages
Assemblywoman

Melissa Mark-Viverito
Speaker, New York City Council

Letitia James
New York City Public Advocate

Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President

Coraminita Mahr
Vice President, 1199 SEIU

Dina Bakst & Sherry Leiwant
Co-Founders & Co-Presidents, A Better Balance

American Association of University Women

Mitra Behroozi

Barbara Caress
Consultant

Denise Berkley
National Women’s Chair, CBTU

Nancy Kolben
Executive Director, Center for Children’s Initiatives

Karen Scharff
Executive Director, Citizen Action New York

Nancy Rankin
VP for Policy Research and Advocacy, Community Service Society

Elizabeth Isakson, MD FAAP & Dina Lieser, MD, FAAP
Co-Directors, Docs for Tots

Susan Ochshorn
Founder, ECE PolicyWorks

Eileen Fisher
Chief Creative Officer, Eileen Fisher, Inc

Brette McSweeney
Executive Director, Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy

Martha Baker
Equity in Education and Employment

Family Planning Advocates

Jennifer Jones Austin
Executive Director, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies

Cynthia DiBartolo, Esq.
Chairperson, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce

Deborah King

Sonia Ivany
President Emeritus, Labor Council For Latin American Advancement

League of Women Voters of New York State

Sharon Lerner
Journalist and Author

Sonia Ossorio
President, National Organization for Women – New York State

Donna Lieberman
Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties Union

Donna Dolan
Executive Director, New York Paid Leave Coalition

Suzy Ballantyne
New York Women’s Equality Coalition

Ana Oliveira

Planned Parenthood – Central and Western NY

Planned Parenthood – Hudson Peconic

Planned Parenthood – Mid-Hudson Valley

Planned Parenthood – Mohawk-Hudson

Planned Parenthood – Nassau County

Joe Sammons
CEO, Planned Parenthood – Southern Finger Lakes

Joan Malin
President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City

Beverly Neufeld
PowHer NY Equal Pay Campaign

Mary Beth Morrissey
Public Health Association of New York City (PHANYC)

Carolyn Lee-Davis
Policy Director, The Children’s Agenda

Dana Friedman, Ed. D
President, The Early Years Institute

Rhonda Nelson
Chair, UFCW Women’s Network

Chelly Hegan
President/CEO, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood

Jacqueline M. Ebanks
Executive Director, Women’s City Club of NY

Janel Quarless
Working Families

Carole Coppens
Executive Director, YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County

Christine Sadowski
Executive Director, YWCA Orange County

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The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign consists of a diverse group of women’s organizations, children’s advocates, labor and public health leaders, advocates for seniors and those with chronic disease, and community and faith-based organizations. The Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign’s Steering Committee consists of A Better Balance, Community Service Society, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York Paid Leave Coalition and the NYS AFL-CIO.

New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign Reacts to President Obama’s Announcement

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 15, 2015
Contact: Emma Woods, emma@berlinrosen.com, 646-200-5303

New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign Reacts to President Obama’s Announcement

Albany, NY – Following President Obama’s announcement of a series of moves in support of paid sick days and paid family leave insurance programs, the New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign released the following statement.

“President Obama’s historic call to implement paid family leave policies across the country represents a major victory for working families — including those here in New York. Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature should support the President’s plan, which would provide funding directly to states like ours that want to create paid family leave policies that strengthen our families and our economy. We look forward to the reintroduction of the Paid Family Leave Insurance Bill in the coming weeks, so that New York can rightfully lead the way on this crucial work-family issue,” said Eric Williams, Campaign Director, New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign.

The New York Paid Family Leave Insurance Campaign consists of a diverse group of women’s organizations, children’s advocates, labor and public health leaders, advocates for seniors and those with chronic disease, and community and faith-based organizations.

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