• Petitioned Indiana University Board of Trustees

This petition was delivered to:

Indiana University Board of Trustees

Renew Paid Family Leave Policy at Indiana University

    1. Petition by

      Jenny Robinson

      Bloomington, IN

From: undersigned Indiana University employees, partners, and spouses

In July 2008, Indiana University adopted a family leave policy for full-time academic appointees that differed significantly from the prior one. Where the old leave policy focused on birth and adoption through partially paid pregnancy/childrearing leaves, the current IU policy extends twelve weeks of fully paid leave to eligible employees not just around birth and adoption but also for the primary care of a first-degree relation with a serious health condition. It also stipulates that the tenure clock stops during the time of the leave, unless the academic appointee requests otherwise.

Our current policy is humane and practical, and academic appointees across the pay scale have used it sparingly (forty-four or 0.75% of the eligible employees in the 2010-2011 school year). It enables men as well as women to take on caregiving responsibilities in times of critical need. This is in fact the only way academic employees can recover income during such unplanned events, as they cannot accrue time off for those events, unlike the staff at IU. Paid family leave is a fiscally smart policy that can help offset IU’s comparatively low salaries among peer institutions when it comes to recruiting and retaining top faculty, especially women, who disproportionately shoulder caregiving. Moreover, it supports the university’s cost-saving preventive healthcare efforts by reducing the stress on employees caring for sick, dying, and otherwise vulnerable loved ones; by making it more practical for pregnant women to take leave in the month before their babies are due, thus reducing their likelihood of receiving a C-section, and its associated expense, by a factor of four; and by giving new mothers time to establish breastfeeding, the success of which will have a long-term impact on their health and that of their insured dependents.  

Without action by the Indiana University Board of Trustees, the current family leave policy will expire June 30, 2011, and revert back to what was in place before. We, the undersigned employees, partners, and spouses, call on the Board of Trustees to affirm your vision of Indiana University as a family-friendly institution and to renew the family leave policy as it stands without a built-in sunset date.

Consider: 

  • --Employers with better-than-average paid leave programs find they result in greater employee productivity, lower absenteeism, and reduced turnover.
  • --Women at IU make up 40% of eligible employees, yet currently take 61% of the paid leave.
  • --While the university’s paid leave costs have climbed from $350, 561 (or 0.13% of the total budget) in 2007-8, to $830,871 in 2010-11, the rate of growth has leveled off (this academic year it represented the same tiny percentage out of the total budget as last year—0.27%).
  • --Academic appointees do not take family leave casually. We share our stories to give you a sense of the human face these numbers represent. Paid family leave is an investment in the health of our families—and Indiana University’s leave policy should express an understanding that our families’ health is crucial to the vitality of this institution.

 

Petition signers: If you have taken family leave at IU, please consider sharing your story. Click on "Add a Personalized Message" above the "SIGN" button.

 

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Jonathan W Mills BLOOMINGTON, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      My mother died suddenly in November 2010. My father is aging and very likely will need support. Please keep the plan as is to help me care for my "first degree" relative in the future. Thank you very much.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lynn Jamieson BLOOMINGTON, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      My mother is in failing health and as her oldest and only daughter, much of the monitoring of her condition falls on me - I was approved of a leave of 4 weeks with the idea of extending it if necessary depending the rapidity of her detiorating condition. This is the first and only leave I have ever taken for family, including birth. Losing this opportunity at this time would be devastating to me and my family.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Matt Christ BLOOMINGTON, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      As Chair of the Department of Classical Studies, I see renewal of IU's Paid Family Leave Policy as critical for faculty recruitment and retention, especially in light of low salaries at IU relative to our Big Ten rivals.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michiru Oleson BLOOMINGTON, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      To maintain a productive positve atomosphere in any workplace, this policy is essential. If it is you who is on the leave, you can focus on your family and return with renewed energy and will to contribute. If it is your co-worker who may need the service, you would like her to have 100% performance, instead of half of the energy worrying over her family situations. This will in turn help the workplace to maintain capable experienced staff who will continue to keep high standards.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Amy Anderson BLOOMINGTON, IN
      • over 3 years ago

      Renew Paid Family Leave Policy at Indiana University

      Dear Trustees of Indiana University,

      In July 2008, Indiana University adopted a family leave policy for full-time academic appointees that differed significantly from the prior one. Where the old leave policy focused on birth and adoption through partially paid pregnancy/childrearing leaves, the current IU policy extends twelve weeks of fully paid leave to eligible employees not just around birth and adoption but also for the primary care of a first-degree relation with a serious health condition. It also stipulates that the tenure clock stops during the time of the leave, unless the academic appointee requests otherwise.

      Our current policy is humane and practical, and academic appointees across the pay scale have used it sparingly (forty-four or 0.75% of the eligible employees in the 2010-2011 school year). It enables men as well as women to take on care-giving responsibilities in times of critical need. This is in fact the only way academic employees can recover income during such unplanned events, as they cannot accrue time off for those events, unlike the staff at IU. Paid family leave is a fiscally smart policy that can help offset IU’s comparatively low salaries among peer institutions when it comes to recruiting and retaining top faculty, especially women, who disproportionately shoulder care-giving. Moreover, it supports the university’s cost-saving preventive healthcare efforts by reducing the stress on employees caring for sick, dying, and otherwise vulnerable loved ones; by making it more practical for pregnant women to take leave in the month before their babies are due, thus reducing their likelihood of receiving a C-section, and its associated expense, by a factor of four; and by giving new mothers time to establish breastfeeding, the success of which will have a long-term impact on their health and that of their insured dependents.

      Without action by the Indiana University Board of Trustees, the current family leave policy will expire June 30, 2011, and revert back to what was in place before. We, the undersigned employees, partners, and spouses, call on the Board of Trustees to affirm your vision of Indiana University as a family-friendly institution and to renew the family leave policy as it stands without a built-in sunset date.

      Consider:

      • Employers with better-than-average paid leave programs find they result in greater employee productivity, lower absenteeism, and reduced turnover.

      • Women at IU make up 40% of eligible employees, yet currently take 61% of the paid leave.

      • While the university’s paid leave costs have climbed from $350, 561 (or 0.13% of the total budget) in 2007-8, to $830,871 in 2010-11, the rate of growth has leveled off (this academic year it represented the same tiny percentage out of the total budget as last year—0.27%).

      • Academic appointees do not take family leave casually. We share our stories to give you a sense of the human face these numbers represent. Paid family leave is an investment in the health of our families—and Indiana University’s leave policy should express an understanding that our families’ health is crucial to the vitality of this institution.

      Sincerely,

      Amy

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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