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Boston City Council Approves Paid Parental Leave Measure For Some City Workers

The Boston City Council unanimously approved a measure Wednesday to give the city's non-union employees six weeks of paid parental leave.

Councilor Michelle Wu sponsored the measure and says it will increase productivity and morale.

"We'll make sure that city employees who are eligible will be able to spend time with their families and not have to worry about coming back to work earlier than they would've liked to because they can't afford it," Wu told WBUR.

The policy would give new parents, including those who adopt, two weeks of fully paid leave, with 75 percent pay for weeks three and four, and 50 percent pay for weeks five and six. It would be available to both men and women who have worked for the city for at least a year.

But the ordinance only applies to employees who are not members of a union — about 8 percent of the city’s workforce.

Jen Springer, with the Service Employees International Union, welcomes the measure but told WBUR last week: “There needs to be more urgency in terms of it being fair, because this is only going to apply to higher paid workers, at this point, managers and department heads.”

The mayor, who has indicated he will sign the measure, has acknowledged that the plan is just a first step.

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