June 8, 2023

Mayor Johnson, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union Announce Paid Parental Leave Plan

CPS employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Brandon Johnson joined Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Pedro Martinez and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) President Stacy Davis Gates to announce that CPS employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Details will be finalized over the summer, but the policy will be similar to paid parental leave policies previously adopted by the City of Chicago. Under the Board’s proposed policy, eligible employees, regardless of gender or gender identity, may receive up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth of the employee’s child or for the adoption or fostering of a child.   

"I am thrilled to begin this work to provide paid parental leave for CPS employees, and proud of the collaboration and partnership between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union that made this important policy goal possible," said Mayor Brandon Johnson. "With the development of this new parental leave policy, we are furthering our commitment to creating a Chicago that puts the needs of workers and families first.”   

Currently, CPS policy entitles birthing parents to six to eight weeks of short-term disability leave, while non-birth parents, who are FMLA eligible, receive two weeks of paid leave. However, the new parental leave policy will run concurrently with FMLA, allowing both birth and non-birth parents to take time off to bond with their newborn or newly adopted/fostered child within the first 12 months of birth or placement. Additionally, gestational surrogates will be eligible for up to eight weeks of paid leave for recovery purposes under this benefit. Staff members who do not meet the hours requirement for FMLA will continue to be able to utilize the current short-term disability plan.  

“Every day, our dedicated teachers and school staff work on behalf of the children and families of Chicago. Today we are pleased to show up for them and their families,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “I’m proud to stand with the Mayor and the Chicago Teachers Union to make paid parental leave a reality and ensure no CPS employee is financially penalized for making the decision to have a child.”  

CPS and CTU have formed a Parental Leave Working Group to collaboratively address implementation of the new parental leave policy and associated coverage challenges for CPS schools. The Working Group held its first meeting on Tuesday, June 6, and will continue to convene throughout the summer as CPS prepares to implement the Paid Parental Leave policy for the upcoming school year. Once finalized by the Working Group, the CPS Board of Education will review and adopt the parental leave for the 2023-24 school year.   

“This expanded parental leave policy is one of the most important and significant developments of our members’ rights outside of our contract negotiations. We know that CTU educators are more than 80% women, and implementing fair, supportive policies like paid parental and family leave are crucial to the health and wellbeing of these educators,” said CTU President Stacy Davis Gates. “As a result of our collective action, mothers and parents at CPS, Black and Brown paraprofessionals who are the head of their household, will no longer have to face the anguish of balancing a new child around the school calendar or sick child around a bell schedule.”  


About Chicago Public Schools (CPS)  

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is dedicated to providing a high-quality education to all students, beginning with the District’s free full-day preschool programming for four-year-old scholars and continuing through neighborhood, magnet and selective-enrollment elementary schools that provide a rigorous K-8 education with schools that specialize in the fine arts, world language and culture, dual language, STEM, International Baccalaureate (IB), classical programs, and more. The rising District-wide freshmen-on-track and high school graduation rates reflect the hard work of the CPS community, including families, staff, and students across 635 schools. CPS celebrates the diversity of its more than 322,000 students who cite 182 home languages. Learn more about CPS at www.cps.edu and connect with CPS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.  

About Chicago Teachers Union  

The Chicago Teachers Union represents nearly 30,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools and, by extension, the more than 300,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org