Gov. Newsom vetoes bill extending paid parental leave for CSU employees
Paid parental leave days will remain at one month, but the CFA’s fight isn’t over.
October 11, 2022
Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 2464 to grant California State University employees one semester of paid parental leave.
“This is very disappointing,” SF State Biology professor and mother Heather Murdock said. “It’s very frustrating how slow the process is to advance the health, wealth, education and rights for women and children.”
According to Newsom’s statement, the reasons behind his Sept. 28 veto include the collective bargaining agreement between the CSU and California Faculty Association, a signed memorandum of understanding between the CSU and CFA and an anticipated report by the parental support workgroup.
“The CSU Board of Trustees recently ratified a collective bargaining agreement with the California Faculty Association that maintained existing parental leave benefits,” Newsom said in his veto statement.
The CSU currently offers its employees up to a month of paid leave. The paid leave can be used for events associated with the birth of a child and the placement of a child through adoption or foster care.
If additional time is needed, members can refer to Article 23.6 of the collective bargaining agreement, which refers to leave sharing, workload reduction or combining paid parental leave, sick leave and unpaid leave to take a semester or quarter leave upon approval.
As part of their negotiations, the CSU and CFA established a parental workgroup in December 2021 to review parental support for faculty.
According to CSU Public Affairs Manager Hazel Kelly, the group is required to meet within 60 days following the February ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and review parental support and parental leave trends for CSU faculty.
“The workgroup may be comprised of not more than seven people from each side unless the parties otherwise mutually agree,” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, the group is also supposed to meet at least once a month to create a report of their findings and present it to the academic senate, board of trustees and the chancellor. The chancellor’s office will then issue a written response to the workgroup within 90 days of receiving the initial report.
“The [current] report from the workgroup is not expected until December 2022,” Kelly said.
Newsom’s veto is the final decision following years of advocacy by the CFA to make parental leave more beneficial for CSU employees.
According to a statement by the CFA, if AB 2464 had passed, it would have also benefited non-faculty members and student workers.
In January 2020, CFA members created a faculty position petition, which demanded for more paid parental leave.
In February 2021, the CFA hosted a COVID-19 relief town hall to call on the CSU for support to aid faculty member parents from any hardships the pandemic may have caused. Two CSU faculty also wrote an open letter addressed to former Chancellor Joseph Castro, calling for relief.
During collective bargaining negotiations in 2021, the CFA initially introduced the idea of granting up to two semester terms of paid leave. Instead, this resulted in the currently implemented parental support workgroups.
According to CFA Communications Specialist Michelle Hatfield, nothing significant has been happening during the meetings between the workgroups and she considers them to be “stagnated.”
“One of the reasons we pushed so hard for the legislation is because we didn’t get anymore bargaining,” Hatfield said. “Then we set up this workgroup with the CSU and it’s been very similar to bargaining, where the CSU is contending that they meet all of the basic requirements for state and federal law.”
Next year, the CFA plans to introduce a second legislation to further push expanded paid parental leave.
“We’ve already had a few legislators offer to be the author for that, but we aren’t saying who just yet,” Hatfield said. “[Our members] are fired up and resolute that they are going to, either at the next legislative session or through bargaining, achieve this in the next year or two.”