Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Council

The voice for staff at Carnegie Mellon University

Image of woman holding a baby and a briefcase

October 17, 2017

Our Progress on Parental Leave

By Parental Leave Focus Group

At the core of Staff Council's advocacy work is policy and benefits review. Committees and focus groups are commissioned to examine issues and propose improvements to policies and programs that impact staff. The matter of addressing parental leave for staff was investigated in great detail by the Parental Leave Focus Group, which was comissioned in the fall of 2016. 

Benchmarking and Research

The Parental Leave Focus Group conducted extensive benchmarking of peer institutions, as well as regional and national employment competitors, to understand what sort of parental leave programs exist. The focus group held sessions throughout the year and welcomed guests from the community, as well as experts on employment policy, human resources, and family and child psychology, to highlight important facets which were then investigated in greater detail. 

Staff Council Open Forum: A Focus on Family

Following their research and consultations, the Parental Leave Focus Group held an open forum on the topic. Sentiments from the community echoed the concerns identified by participants in the focus group sessions. 

The open forum allowed members of the Carnegie Mellon University community to share their personal stories. A panel of faculty and staff commented on their diverse experiences. 

The Final Proposal

The Parental Leave Focus Group finalized a written proposal that points to a need for a paid parental leave benefit for staff at Carnegie Mellon University. The proposal showcases the research and effort of the Parental Leave Focus Group over the past year and outlines the range of considerations for an effective parental leave policy or program. 

The final proposal was submitted in the summer of 2017 to the Total Compensation Committee ("TCC"), with the expectation that the proposal would be reviewed and considered for further examination as soon as possible. The Total Compensation Committee is comprised by members of executive leadership and Human Resources.