Chicago cops demand parental leave after mayor gives it to teachers

Chicago cops demand parental leave after mayor gives it to teachers

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson handed parental leave to his former employers at the Chicago Teachers Union with no negotiation. Now the city’s police union wants it.

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara is urging Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to provide Chicago police officers with the same parental leave benefits given to the Chicago Teachers Union without negotiating for it. 

Johnson recently announced Chicago Public Schools teachers would have the same 12-week paid parental leave city employees already received. Johnson said making the CTU negotiate for that leave would have been disruptive and problematic.

“This is not a gift to the CTU. This is a policy for the people of Chicago,” Johnson said.

“Do you understand how disruptive and problematic it would be if we are negotiating the context of whether someone lives or dies or if they have services? That’s not for negotiation,” Johnson said.

Catanzara contended that, like the Chicago Teachers Union, the police union should be granted parental leave. He emphasized 12-week paid parental leave should be considered independently from the existing medical time benefits in the police contract. 

“The teachers were granted parental leave — without bargaining. We certainly expect the same considerations for our membership,” Catanzara said. 

Former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot previously said she supported parental leave for CPS, but only through negotiations. Johnson’s office has yet to comment on the police union’s demand. 

As a candidate, Johnson told the Chicago Sun-Times officers should have commensurate time off in response to a question about burnout in the department. 

“Police burnout is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Like other workers, our police should have days off and not work excessive hours,” Johnson said.

Contracts for CTU and the police union will both be renegotiated under Johnson’s watch. Johnson was a CTU lobbyist and the union helped bankroll his campaign.

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