A proposal to allow postdoctoral professionals and research associates to have extended leave following the birth or adoption of a child, devised by the University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association (UPPA), seems headed toward administrative approval.
Laurie Kirsch, vice provost for faculty affairs, development, and diversity, said of the the new proposal: “It gives the parent more time to spend with their child and makes our benefit more consistent with our peer institutions.”
Currently, Pitt birth and non-birth parents in postdoctoral and research associate posts are eligible to take four weeks of paid leave following the arrival of a child. As presented at the February meeting of the University Senate’s benefits and welfare committee, the new proposal calls for six weeks of paid leave for birth parents following a delivery via any method except cesarean section, which would allow birth parents to take eight weeks of leave. Non-birth parents would remain eligible for four weeks of leave for child bonding.
According to Kirsch, the UPPA presented data to the provost’s office showing Pitt has been offering fewer weeks off, benchmarked against comparable institutions, to postdocs and research associates upon the birth of children.
Kirsch said the new policy proposal has been endorsed by the council of deans. Once the proposal has been reviewed by the appropriate University committees, Kirsch plans to send a memo to the provost for her review and endorsement of the proposal.