Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Council

The voice for staff at Carnegie Mellon University

Image of woman holding a baby and a briefcase

May 29, 2018

Update on Staff Council's Parental Leave Policy

By Parental Leave Focus Group

Continuing in the spirit of Staff Council’s advocacy work, the Parental Leave Focus Group remains committed to working with the University on a mutually agreeable Parental Leave Policy for staff of Carnegie Mellon University. Since this effort began 18 months ago, the Parental Leave Focus Group has researched justifications for the policy, distributed a questionnaire to staff about their opinions on the absence of a parental leave policy, benchmarked leave policies against peer institutions and regional employers, networked with other institutions, met with the University of Pittsburgh Staff Council, held an open forum for staff, submitted the proposal for review and comment around the University, and adjusted proposal recommendations based on those reviews.

We continue to receive questions from prospective parents who work here at CMU, asking when the policy will begin or if there is any news. In our last published update in October 2017, we shared that the proposal had been submitted to the Total Compensation Committee (TCC), which is made up of members of executive leadership and Human Resources. The proposal was then submitted to the Office of General Council (OGC) for comment.

In February of this year, we met with our Chief Human Resources Officer, Michelle Piekutowski, to discuss the findings of the OGC and the TCC. As a result of that meeting, we adjusted our recommendations to include six weeks of fully paid leave for a staff member who becomes a parent through childbirth or adoption/foster. Additionally, we proposed that if both parents are employed by CMU, each parent may receive up to 12 continuous weeks of FMLA during the first 12 months following birth or adoption. Our revised recommendations were presented to HR in April.

We continue to benchmark against peer institutions, as well as regional and national employment competitors. We’ve reached out to professionals in other organizations who have successfully enacted a parental leave policy in order to address concerns that have been raised in our continued discussions with University leadership. We continue to have discussions with HR, so that with their support we may re-submit the Parental Leave Proposal to the TCC for consideration. The Parental Leave Focus Group is unwavering in our commitment to working with the Senior University Leadership to develop and implement a new Parental Leave Policy for staff.

Any feedback or questions can be sent to the Parental Leave Focus Group.

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