NY Paid Family and Medical Leave & Victor Gotbaum’s Legacy

Richard Steier, Editor of the Chief-Leader, reminisces about the life and times of the iconic NYC labor leader, Victor Gotbaum, who was part of a triumvirate of forward thinking labor leaders who stuck their necks out to save NYC and saved their unions in the process. NY Paid Family Leave is an organization that has been leading the charge for Paid Family Leave in NY for over a decade. Now it looks like success is on the horizon. This week will see major initiatives to push this wagon to the starting gate.

Legacy of a Labor Lion

Richard Steier, the Editor of the Chief-Leader, devoted several pages of the April 17th Edition to remember the late Victor Gotbaum, who passed on earlier this month at the age of 93. Gotbaum was an iconic, larger-than-life, labor leader who was one of the triumvirate of labor –leaders who were called upon by Governor Hugh Carey, to stick their necks out to help rescue NYC from the brink of bankruptcy. Gotbaum and the UFT’s Albert Shanker hadn’t gotten along in many years, yet they put their personal animosity aside to work together to save the City and their unions in the process. Learn the good and the not so good, about this fascinating historical figure from a premier labor journalist, with many years of experience (and notes!).

Paid Family and Medical Leave in NY

The time has come to enact Paid Family Leave, and with it, reform of New York’s antiquated Disability Benefits Law. Donna Dolan, who spent a career at the highest levels of CWA, has headed up the organization, NY Paid Family Leave, for over a decade. This week will mark a series of events which the organization, the labor movement and even some business people, expect will result in the passage of long awaited legislation for Paid Family Leave in New York State. Listen to Donna explain the bill, and then make it a point to call your NY State Assembly Member and State Senator and ask them to support Paid Family Leave. This is a cost sharing measure. The burden does not fall solely on business, in fact the lion’s share is paid by employees. By providing up to 12 weeks of benefits subject to a statutory cap, this measure will enable a sick breadwinner to stay home if ill, or if caring for a sick child or parent, and not need to make the choice “do I take care of my family, or starve?” We all need this folks!