Parental Leave

In a historic mid-contract win, the Chicago Board of Education expanded its Parental Leave Policy to provide for 12 weeks of paid parental leave for qualifying CPS employees (birth and non-birth parents, those adopting and fostering children) — the standard for parental leave allocated for other City of Chicago employees. This was critical for Chicago Public Schools’ overwhelmingly female workforce and our majority female union.

Birth Parent/Adoptive Parent/Foster Parent

The new Paid Parental Leave is available to all CTU members who are eligible for an FMLA under federal guidelines.

The leave is available to birth parents, adoptive parents and foster parents.  The leave is paid at 100% of a member’s salary when taken within the first year of birth or placement. Ten sick days will no longer need to be forfeited at the beginning of the parental leave.  The leave must be continuous.

Intermittent usage is not allowed for this type of leave.

Please note: if both parents work for CPS they will each receive 12 weeks of paid time.  The time must be taken in consecutive portions by each person.  The time may be taken simultaneously.

Paid holiday and unscheduled work days will count towards the 12 weeks paid benefit, winter, spring and summer breaks will not count since those are times without salary payments.

Part-time Teachers

Employees must work 900 hours or 1250 in order to qualify for FMLA Parental Leave.

Part-time teachers/members are eligible for a leave under STD. Part-time members will receive their part-time salary based on the STD payment plan.

Birth Parents Who Are Not FMLA Eligible

(New Hires, Members who took a leave in the last year, Rehires)

A new hire or a rehire must work a total of 60 calendar days in order to be eligible for Short Term Disability.  A member returning from an approved leave such as a sabbatical, must work 10 school days in order to be reactivated and eligible for the Stand Alone STD as a paid benefit.  Stand Alone STD does not have job protections under FMLA, but is considered a paid leave benefit.

Short Term Disability is a paid leave. It is designed to ensure you do not suffer from a loss of pay due to an illness or pregnancy. It allows you to physically get better from the birth of your child. It does not provide paid time to take care of your child.

Surrogates now can receive 6-8 weeks STD in order to recover from birth.

You will be given six weeks for a natural birth and eight weeks for a C-section. You will be paid 100% of your salary the first four weeks and 80% the second two weeks. You are given the option to increase the 80% pay to 100% pay by using your accrued sick days. One sick day will bring five days up to 100% pay. This option must be chosen when you first apply for short term disability.

Short term disability begins the day your child is born. You can apply for additional time before or after the birth if you have additional medical needs. Your physician will need to provide medical documentation of your condition.

Short Term Disability supplements your ten yearly sick days. You must exhaust the ten sick days before short term disability will begin to pay you. The ten sick days will be inclusive of the six to eight weeks of a STD leave. You do not need to save the ten days to be eligible for STD. If you use the ten days before the baby is born you will still receive the full six or eight weeks beginning the day, your baby is born.

Short term disability is calendar days. If there is vacation time during your leave you will get paid from CPS not STD. You will not be paid for any days teachers are not getting paid. If you experience a non-payment day STD will not add the time to the end of your leave.

When your paid parental leave is exhausted, you may apply for extended child rearing leave.  This is an unpaid leave. You can receive pay if you have accrued sick days. CPS will use any and all of the sick days you have for the duration of your leave. You are not allowed to “freeze” any of your accrued sick days when you are on a leave.

Licensed Teachers/Clinicians/Counselors

You are allowed up to a ten school months leave to be guaranteed a return to your school/worksite. If you are tenured and remain on leave beyond the ten months, you will return to the re-assignment pool. A member with tenure is allowed a total of four years for a child rearing leave. Please review Article 33-7.1 on page 133/134 of the contract for complete details.

PSRPs Childrearing Rights

You now may remain out for a total of 10 school months for a child rearing leave and return to your school.  You must be FMLA eligible.  The first 12 weeks will be paid at 100%.  The remainder of the time is unpaid.  You may supplement your salary using banked sick days at this time. (Still waiting for 52 week PSRP members for childrearing 10 month job protection rule—CCS, CCC)

Health Insurance

CPS will continue to provide full insurance coverage when you are on STD or Parental Leave (5 months). You will continue to have insurance coverage when you are on a FMLA/child rearing if you are using sick days. Once you exhaust all of your sick days you will need to pay your portion of your insurance. You will need to pay the amount deducted from your paycheck. This will occur the first of the month after you use your last sick day. You will need to contact the Benefit Department ( at 773-553-4748 to make arrangements to pay your premium.  The Benefits Dept. will send an invoice via the US Postal Service.

Insurance coverage terminates after you have completed five months of a maternity leave. Summer months are not included as part of the five months. If you are on a leave beyond five months you will need to go on Cobra insurance for the remaining time of your leave. Your CPS insurance will resume the first of the month following your re-instatement day.

Please note for PAT’s only. You must work 150 days (non-student attendance days do count) within the present school term to receive credit for the year. If you do not work 150 days you will forfeit the year towards tenure.

Please call or write Kathleen Murray with any additional questions you may have.

Kathleen Murray
Health and Benefits Field Representative

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