Asheville City Council Approves Budget Including Paid Leave for City Employees
ASHEVILLE, NC — Today, the Asheville City Council of North Carolina approved its proposed budget, including eight weeks of paid parental leave and six weeks of paid family leave for all of its city employees. This monumental decision makes Asheville the 22nd community in the state of North Carolina to adopt the critical paid leave policies that will increase the employment opportunities and improve the well-being and livelihood of their local employees.
“Just Economics applauds the City of Asheville in joining Buncombe County and communities across the state in passing family friendly workplace policies,” says Vicki Meath, Executive Director of Just Economics. “The City of Asheville and Buncombe County are setting a powerful example for employers in our region by passing this important paid family leave policy.”
The need for paid parental, family and medical leave extends well beyond the boundaries of North Carolina. This lack of this care infrastructure has impacted parents and caregivers across the country for decades, and the pandemic has only exacerbated its devastating impacts on parent’s participation in the American workforce and their ability to provide for their families.
“The City of Asheville is setting an example to their employees by adopting these paid leave benefits. Research shows extended parental leave reduces infant mortality. It brings great health benefits, such as reduced caregiver stress, increased caregiver-child bonding, and helps support breastfeeding,” said Amy Barry, Executive Director of Buncombe Partnership for Children.
“We’re excited to see the City of Asheville adopt family friendly policies that have real benefits for child development and well being,” Greg Borom, Director of Advocacy Children First/Communities In Schools of Buncombe County.
“While we celebrate this win for the women, mothers, families and children of Asheville, there is continued work to be done to ensure that every woman in America has the same support for her ability to both work and have a child,” says Tina Sherman, Senior Campaign Director of Maternal Justice at MomsRising. “Federal lawmakers have a responsibility to their constituents to pass these job-creating and job-sustaining care infrastructure policies that will allow parents to work, children to thrive, and care workers to earn the living wages they both need and deserve.”
Since its start, the pandemic has forced nearly 3 million women out of the workplace. As our nation looks to emerge from its devastating impacts, women are still bearing the brunt of an uncertain and unpredictable recovery, with over 165,000 women withdrawing from the workforce in April. In order to achieve a just, equitable and effective recovery from the ongoing pandemic, all workers across the United States must have equal access to paid leave, accessible and affordable child care, and living wages to support their employment and families.
# # # #
MomsRising.org is an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to increase family economic security, decrease discrimination against women and moms, and to build a nation where businesses and families can thrive. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families, including criminal justice reform, immigration policy reform, and gun safety. MomsRising is working for paid family and medical leave, affordable, high quality child care and early learning, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes women — particularly moms and women of color — and so many others.
Just Economics is an economic justice advocacy organization building grassroots power to create change. The mission of Just Economics is to educate, advocate, and organize for a more just and sustainable local economy that works for all in Western North Carolina. www.justeconomicswnc.org
Children First/Communities in School Buncombe County mission is to empower children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education and services. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.
Buncombe Partnership for Children is on a mission to strengthen the capacity of educators, families, and the community to build a strong foundation for children’s learning and development beginning at birth. http://buncombepfc.org