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PHONE (724) 728-7655


November 10. 2016

Speaker Mike Turzai

Room 139. Main Capitol Building
1-Iarrisburg PA 17120-2028
Dear Speaker Turzai.

With the election behind us and Republicans again in the majority. 1 ask for your support on an
issue of ureat importance to myself and many others in our caucus.
This session, we will again be confronted with the reality that retirement benefits Ibr government
%%orkers are incompatible with the 71S1 century economy. It is time to learn from the private
sector and repair this unsustainable system, while offering our valued employees a competitive
retirement plan. Once again. I look forward to joining in that quest.
However, I wish to bring to your attention another employee policy at which the private sector
has evolved beyond government. In recent years, we have seen the private sector embrace the
changing family model and adopt a variety of policies that provide flexibility to working parents.
arid in particular. mothers. Among these options is paid maternity leave.
In contrast, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives offers no paid maternity leave to its
employees, and instead, forces new mothers to empty their vacation, personal and sick leave
accounts. In the case of insufficient hours, employees must take unpaid time off
Male and female government employees accrue benefit hours at the same rate, and while many
male employees choose to utilize their accrued time off alter the birth of a child, they do not
have the same post-partum physical and emotional health demands as new mothers.
This inequitable and archaic government policy necessitates change and I ask that House
Republican Caucus lead by example. I would like to propose that beginning January I, all female
employees receive 12 weeks of paid leave with 100% of their salary after delivery. While this
may seem like a sudden and drastic modification, it is a near commonplace benefit offered by
leading private sector employers.
As we look to recruit and retain the best and brightest workforce. government should join the
public sector in offering families more work-life flexibility. We can and should do more than talk
about family values, we should show, through our employee policies, that we value families.

I am aware that these benefits may still fall short of maternity benefits offered in the private
sector; however. I believe this is an overdue first step.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.


Jim Christiana
Member. 5 Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives