Working mothers, children to hold car caravan for COVID childcare leave at full pay

by pregnancy journalist

Minneapolis, MN – Hennepin County AFSCME is calling on county commissioners to approve fully-paid COVID child care leave for county employees and to extend emergency COVID protections before provisions expire December 31.

As no action was taken at their final scheduled meeting of 2020 on December 15, Hennepin County AFSCME calls on Board Chair Marion Greene to schedule an emergency board meeting before the December 31 deadline.

Hennepin County AFSCME is also planning a car caravan, Saturday December 19, 1 p.m., starting at Painter Park Parking Lot, 620 W 34th Street, in Minneapolis, to press their demands.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners met December 15 to approve the 2021 budget. Absent from the meeting was any relief for Hennepin County employees and working parents who need leave at full pay to care for their children.

“The county has done a lot to take care of residents,” observed Latonya Reeves, mother and Hennepin County AFSCME Policy Committee president. “It needs to put the same energy into taking care of its workers, many of whom are having to request financial assistance themselves.”

During the meeting’s public comment section, 13 union members and mothers of school-aged children shared their experiences working and taking care of their children full time. Mothers related the financial and mental toll it has taken on them and many described how using existing federal childcare leave, which only provides two-thirds of pay and left them on the verge of homelessness.

AFSCME is calling on Hennepin County to extend COVID childcare leave at full pay until schools and daycares are fully operational.

Union representatives will be meeting with County Board Chair Greene on Friday, December 18, to urge her to hold a special board meeting to pass a resolution for full paid leave and renew other COVID protections, such as a moratorium on evictions that are set to expire at the end of the year.

This content was originally published here.

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