Paid parental/family leave for City employees was a lengthy discussion during Northfield Council’s meeting last night. Councilor DeLong was part of the committee that came up with allowing 2 weeks paid leave twice a year to employees, providing for new parents and/or care for a family member. As for childbirth right now, parents are allowed 2 weeks paid. The policy would then become 4 weeks paid. This benefit includes part time personnel. Peterson White, who has spearheaded the initiative to lengthen paid time off, wanted the parental leave to be extended to 6 weeks paid and allowed once per year.
Councilors Ness and Colby questioned the cost and DeLong questioned the fairness of it among all employees. Employees can take up to 12 weeks off for birth, although not all paid. However, options include utilizing accrued vacation as well as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), which is mandated by the Federal government. Employees are given either their job back or equivalent with the same pay. Pownell said that mothers giving birth are unique and need time to recover, comparing it to a medical procedure and they should have 6 weeks paid time off. At this point, staff will come back with 2 options, one as presented originally with 2 weeks, twice a year on a trial basis of two years to see how it was being used and the possible cost of it. The other would include the additional 6 weeks once a year for “Beginning of Life Events”, which includes birth, adoption and fostering. This will be on council’s agenda next week. Pownell and Administrator Martig were in studio this morning, their interview is on kymnradio.net.
Design teams sought for Nfld Schools projects
Northfield School District Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann thanked the community for approving the $41 million referendum that will be used for a new Elementary school and a number of changes to the current buildings to upgrade for early childhood education and secure entrances to every school. Hillmann said right now they’re working on Request For Proposals for Architectural Services, Construction management and Financial Investment Services. They hope to have proposals submitted just after Thanksgiving and look to interview those companies by the first week of December and have partnerships approved before the Christmas holiday. After that, it will be utilizing design teams for each of the 5 projects. The teams will include members of the architectural firm, school staff, when appropriate – students, community members with and without children. If you’re interested in working on the various projects, contact Hillmann at the District office.
McCarthy on Dundas voter turnout, “that was unbelievable”
Dundas Council met last night due to the Veterans Day holiday. Administrator McCarthy said they certified the recent Election results and commented that the voter turnout was just shy of 5% less than the 2016 election, so a great turnout for mid-terms. McCarthy said, “that was unbelievable. Usually we’re running about 30 to 40 percent of the turnout from the general to the mid-term election”. The Architectural and Const. Management RFP’s were approved for a new City Hall. Those will be posted immediately. They’re looking for a compatible design to their historic milltown downtown. McCarthy’s full interview is also on our website.