Saturday, May 24, 2008

Unions Help Women with Caregiving Responsibilities

As people are discovering the challenges of balancing a career with caregiving responsibilities, unions have stepped up to help, Women’s eNews reported. The programs and benefits offered by unions are appealing to women, as they provide assistance that makes managing both a career and a family possible. Some unions have a child and elder care fund and monthly health care allocations, which members fund themselves and have access to if needed. Even more, they provide benefits regarding paid and unpaid leave that go beyond those required by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. While President Bush has proposed changes to the FMLA that would restrict it, both Sens. Clinton and Obama have made it clear that they would like to extend the benefits of the act to companies with only 25 employees, as opposed to 50. Some predict that over time more unions will follow the example set by such unions as UNITE HERE Local 2, Cleveland Teachers Union Local, and California State Employees Local.

The American Association of University Women believes that creating work environments that help employees balance the responsibilities of work and family is good public policy—good for workers, good for families, and good for business. AAUW’s 2007-2009 Public Policy Program supports greater access to benefits that provide such an environment. To read more on AAUW’s position regarding the workers’ benefits and the FMLA, read their position paper on family friendly workplaces.

No comments: