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Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Supports Parental Leave

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Mar. 21, 2017) – Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has introduced a new parental-leave employee benefit that grants parents of birth or adopted children six weeks of leave at 100 percent of their pay.

The new benefit covers all Affinity Plus employees – both mothers and fathers – across Minnesota who work at least part time. The benefit began Feb. 20, the day it was announced to staff.

Affinity Plus Human Resources officials said they anticipate many parents will use the fully-paid leave as part of the 12 weeks of leave credit union employees are eligible to take after birth or adoption of a child.

EMOTIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT AT ALL-EMPLOYEE DAY

Affinity Plus unveiled the benefit at the credit union’s annual All Employee Day in Bloomington, Minn. News of the new benefit brought cheers and a standing ovation from staff and tears from several expectant parents in the audience.

“I was floored. I definitely started crying,” said Stephanie Grundtner of Minneapolis, a member advisor at Affinity Plus’ University branch. At the time, Grundtner was pregnant with her first children – twins. She gave birth to Hugh William and Ross Daniel March 9 and is caring for the boys at home.

“It’s such a human, important decision to offer paid parental leave, and I love it’s not just for moms,” Grundtner said.

Corey Rupp, Affinity Plus vice-president of Consumer Lending, was among those surprised by the announcement. Rupp and his wife, who live in Bemidji, Minn., welcomed their fourth child, Grady, March 1.

“It’s been a huge benefit for the family to take this time. It’s been so nice to be able to be home, helping keep the family going through the wonderful craziness of the new baby,” he said.

TAKING A LEADERSHIP POSITION

Dave Larson, Affinity Plus president/CEO, said the credit union’s daily work with members is based on its core values of caring, excellence and integrity. Those same values apply to supporting staff, he said.

“Affinity Plus is a close-knit group, and we know this parental-leave benefit impacts parents and families both emotionally and financially. We want mothers and fathers to be able to focus completely on their children, and not their finances, for a little while,” Larson said. “When we saw the staff reaction on All Employee Day, it gave me confidence we’d made the right decision.”

At the same time, Affinity Plus is offering the benefit “because we want to recruit and retain the best staff everywhere in Minnesota,” said Wendy Berry, Human Resources department assistant manager. “We believe that if we support our staff, our members will get the kind of service they want from their financial institution.”

Berry said that a report by the Society for Human Resource Management indicates only 17 percent of employers offer paid parental leave. And with parental leave being a hot topic among employers and lawmakers across the country, Affinity Plus has determined paid parental leave is the right step to take.

“It’s immeasurable how important it is for parents to be able to bond with their new child or children right after birth or adoption. Affinity Plus is part of a revolution focusing on supporting all parents and families,” she said.


ABOUT AFFINITY PLUS

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Established in 1930, Affinity Plus has 28 branches located throughout the state and is owned by more than 184,000 members. Based in St. Paul, Minn., Affinity Plus has over $1.9 billion in assets and $3.5 billion in assets under management. Additional information is available at www.affinityplus.org or by calling (800) 322-7228.

NEWS PHOTO – John and Stephanie Grundtner of Minneapolis hold twins Hugh and Ross, born March 9. Stephanie is a member advisor at Affinity Plus’ University branch. Photo courtesy of Clare Koch.


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