We all know that Scottsdale is a great place to live, to raise a family, to vacation, and to spend your weekends. We rarely think about how it is to work for the city of Scottsdale however; little is said about city employees, which often is a positive. But city leadership has found room for improvement, and in the process are making the city a more desirable employer.
Scottsdale has recently had issues with keeping its workforce, so in response to that the city is using $600,000 in extra funds to shore up a perceived weakness in its benefits: it is now providing paid time off for new parents.
Part of this is almost certainly a matter of competitiveness. Relatively conservative strongholds Mesa and Gilbert offer similar benefits, which makes it an unequivocally bad look for a city with the relative wealth that Scottsdale does to not compete in that aspect. This also comes on the heels of a larger national consciousness about paid family leave and America’s dismal ranking in that regard. It is one of only six countries which does not have national paid leave policies, and there are no other first-world countries in that group of six.
States and municipalities haven’t been waiting on Congress to do anything useful: much like how the federal minimum wage of $7.25 has stayed stagnant for years even in the face of massive inflation, and much how most states have their own minimum wage which is far above the federal minimum, localities are passing paid leave policies in the wake of continued federal inaction. With Senators Joe Machin and Kyrsten Sinema using the policy as a bargaining chip and with a new conservative Speaker of the House in Congress, it’s reasonable to assume that the inaction will persist.
It could certainly be argued that Scottsdale was behind the times on this one. It could also be argued that in the grand scheme of things that it isn’t a huge deal; after all, nearly all of the United States has an incredibly long way to go to achieve parity on this subject with the rest of the first world, and we may never entirely do so. But late as it may have been, it’s a move that better aligns the workforce with the quality of life in the city as a whole. Late or little, a positive is a positive.