Take action to help pass legislation for paid family and medical leave
From the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 25, 2023
By Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, President,
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation
Throughout history, the labor movement has been on the front lines of every fight to improve basic working conditions. From the 40-hour work week, to safe workplace conditions, the labor movement has led the way.
Now it is our time to lead again. Here in Minnesota, we have the historic opportunity to expand access to paid family and medical leave to all workers through statewide legislation. After a decade of stalling out, 2023 is the year we can win this legislation in Minnesota. Working Minnesotans need the freedom to care for themselves and the people they love.
Many of us in the labor movement have some access to paid leave through our collectively-bargained contracts. We’ve fought for healthcare, sick leave and family leave provisions to care for our families. In some cases, we’ve sacrificed wages or other working conditions to win those healthcare and leave benefits.
But even these hard-fought family and medical leave provisions are not consistent and often include too many cracks for individuals to fall through.
And, outside of the labor movement, broad sectors of workers across industries have little to no access to any paid leave benefits.
By enacting a paid family and medical leave policy in Minnesota, every worker will have access to these benefits.
Outside of labor unions, broad sectors of workers across industries have little to no access to any paid leave benefits.
Under the proposed legislation (House File 2, Senate File 2), paid family and medical leave will be administered statewide through existing payroll services and fees. It will allow for partial wage replacement for up to 12 weeks for medical leave. It will give room for our unions to enhance our existing leave benefits.
To get this legislation across the finish line, we need all workers to weigh-in. We all have stories about times when we have needed to care for ourselves or for others in our family.
I have my own stories. I’ve used paid leave to care for myself and my newborn children. I’ve used paid leave to care for my husband after he had critical open-heart surgery.
Others have used paid leave to care for aging parents, for mental health care, or for precious time to welcome adopted children.
Contact your legislators and tell them you want paid family and medical leave for all Minnesotans. And share your personal story with them.
The MRLF and Minnesota AFL-CIO are part of a broad coalition — Minnesotans for Paid Family and Medical Leave — which includes unions, nonprofit community organizations, and faith-based organizations.
For more information about the proposed legislation:
To take action:
Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou was re-elected December 11, 2019 to a second four-year term as president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Contact MRLF president Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou at 612-321-5670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.