Graduate employees with children are guaranteed protection from discrimination, access to healthcare, child care subsidies, leave, and lactation facilities in our contract. Detailed information about parental leave benefits and the child care subsidy can be found below:

Parental Leaves

A full list of leaves guaranteed in GEO’s contract can be found here. Medical leaves are extended to circumstances related to dependents of the graduate employee as well as dependents of any Other Qualified Adults. 

When possible, graduate employees must submit a written request to use the Parental Accommodation Period no less than 4 weeks prior to the new child event. Upon this request, all graduate employees are guaranteed the following paid parenting-related leaves immediately following the new child event:

New Child EventLeave Available as Part of Parental Accommodation PeriodOther Available Leave for New Child Event
New birth, birthing parent6 weeks paid leave + 2 weeks unpaid leaveAny available medical leave (6 weeks total) 
New birth, non-birthing parent3 weeks paid leave + 2 weeks unpaid leaveAny available medical leave (6 weeks total) 
Adoption, foster placement, new legal guardianship of child under age 63 weeks paid leave + 2 weeks unpaid leave Any available medical leave (6 weeks total) 

The Parental Accommodation Period and related leave taken must be completed within 8 weeks of the new child event, during which the employee will still receive full medical coverage, tuition waiver, and salary while excused from any regular job duties. If this 8 week period overlaps 2 semesters, parenting-related leave may be used in both semesters, as long as it is used within 8 weeks of the new child event. 

Any amount of available medical leave (up to 6 weeks total) may be used either during or after the 8 week Parental Accommodation Period and does not necessarily need to be used in its entirety for a new child event. Employees may choose whether or not to take their 2 weeks of unpaid leave before using medical leave (note: if an employee uses enough medical leave that exceeds the 8 week Parental Accommodation Period, the additional 2 weeks of unpaid leave will no longer be available, per the terms of the Parental Accommodation Period outlined in the above paragraph).

Following any parenting-related leave taken, the employee will work with the employing unit to return to their previously assigned position/duties, unless the employing unit determines that this return would cause undue disruption. If this is determined, the employee may be reassigned or given no assignment upon return, but will still receive the full pay and benefits of their original position. 

If additional parenting-related leave is required, employees may work with their employing units to remain on unpaid leave (while still receiving their full tuition waiver and health benefits) past the amounts listed above. 

Child Care Subsidy

Any employee who meets the eligibility requirements for the Child Care Subsidy Program will receive the appropriate Child Care Subsidy Award. (Note: any unique circumstances that may impact eligibility should be addressed directly with the Office of Financial Aid for consideration.)

Maximum amounts for child care subsidy are determined annually by the university and can be found here. Child care subsidy maximum awards are increased annually by the average annual percentage increase in tuition at the UM Child Care Centers. The minimum amount of child care subsidy available to graduate employees will not fall below the following:

One child: $2,940

Two children: $4,310

3 or more children: $5,682

For additional information regarding the University’s policies for the child care subsidy (including Covid-related changes for 2020-2021), see the FAQ page for the Office of Financial Aid.

Issues with Child Care Subsidy and Other Financial Aid

GSIs have encountered issues where receiving the child care subsidy will trigger reductions to other financial aid (e.g., Rackham grants or awards) or vice versa. This should not be occurring, and can be resolved if it does occur. 

To prevent or correct this issue, you should fill out the Budget Reevaluation Form, available under “SUBSIDY APPLICATIONS AND RELATED FORMS” here; the form for the 2020-2021 academic year will be available on October 1. Students should submit this form to the Office of Financial Aid, ideally prior to receiving any kind of award that would cause their Cost of Attendance to go down. (This includes student-administered Rackham awards like the Rackham Research Grant, Emergency Grants, as well as outside Fellowships, grants, etc.) Ideally this form should be turned in at minimum 5 days prior to receiving any new aid, in order to reduce the likelihood that receiving it triggers a reduction in aid, but minimally the form needs to be turned in no later than 15 days prior to the end of the term in which you received the aid. Submitting this form to increase one’s cost of attendance will often require documentation; approved documentation for travel can include a proposed budget so long as the students’ Department Business Coordinator and/or Advisor signs off. If you encounter any issues correcting this problem, please contact