City of Dubuque now offering 12 weeks paid parental leave to full-time employees

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- The city of Dubuque is setting itself apart from others by offering paid parental leave to its full-time employees, and it believes the weeks its offering is very competitive.

Anne Schreyer plays with her son, Max, in their backyard on April 15, 2019. (Charlie Grant, KCRG-TV9)

Under this new resolution, moms or dads could get up to 12 weeks of paid time off when they have a baby or adopt. All non-bargaining, full-time employees are eligible, including those represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Dubuque Professional Firefighters Association.

City of Dubuque employee Anne Schreyer is looking forward to this new perk.

She just started her job as a secretary in the City Manager's office on February 1st. When she was hired, the city offered no paid parental leave, so she planned on taking 12 weeks off, unpaid. However, that's now changed.

"My husband and I planned on budgeting, you know for no maternity leave or parental leave, and they (the city) changed it on March 8th, and now I'll get paid 12 weeks," Schreyer explained.

She believes that time off will be so beneficial to her family.

"Student loans, mortgage payments, they still come every month," she said. "So it will definitely be a huge stress reliever."

This comes at a cost to taxpayers.

Personnel Manager Randy Peck said, "we're going to be paying people and will not be receiving their service during that period of time, potentially it could result in some overtime."

However, the city believes it's good for all present and future employees.

"Our hope is retention, but also recruitment and attraction to city employment," Peck said.

Dubuque's offering is more generous than two other major cities in eastern Iowa. The city of Iowa city offers four weeks of paid time off, while the city of Waterloo doesn't offer any. The city of Cedar Rapids did not get back to a request for information on its parental leave policy.

Schreyer is looking forward to time off with her newborn

"I'm very excited. Not just for myself, but for everyone," she said.