Presidential Campaigns Address Work-Life Policy Issues

In time for National Work and Family Month, Families and Work Institute (FWI) released today full notes from conference calls it convened in September with policy leaders from Senator Obama’s and Senator McCain’s campaigns.   calendar

The calls focused on how, if elected, the two candidates would address work life issues ranging from sick leave to health care to early education and child care. “This is the first ever Presidential campaign in which both nominees have formally articulated their positions in this arena,” according to Ellen Galinski, President of FWI. While much has been written about how Vice Presidential candidates Biden and Palin manage their own work and family lives, and where Palin and Biden have been affected by work-life issues in the past, these calls move us from their personal to their policy stands on these issues. 

Among the questions addressed by the campaigns during the calls were:

  • What are the work and family life issues the candidate feels are most important to address?
  • What is the candidate’s position on workplace flexibility? What are the roles of the government, employers and employees in providing workplace flexibility?
  • Should the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) be changed? In what ways? Should it be paid? By whom? Should sick leave be established and paid? By whom and for whom?
  • How would the candidate address issues of the time famine that so many employees experience?
  • How does each candidate plan to address the impact of the gas crisis on commuting employees?  
  • How can work life issues help address the spiraling cost of health care?
  • What would each candidate do to help the low-wage working family? And how would your candidate address narrowing the gap between men and women’s pay for all workers, especially for older workers?
  • What is the candidate’s position on education and care for the first three years of life for those families who need and want to work- and on universal pre-K?  What proposals does each candidate have for after-school care?
  • What if anything, does either party plan to do to support the 45% of employees taking care of our growing elderly population?  

The full notes from the call with Senator Obama’s campaign and with Senator McCain’s campaign are linked here in pdf format.  These notes provide great insight into the positions of the candidates on work-life and work-family issues. 

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