JEFFERSON, La. -- A day after losing their union contract, Jefferson Parish teachers rallied outside a school board meeting Monday afternoon in hopes of making a statement.
“We really are feeling kind of on the sad side,” said teacher Nathan Wiseberry. “We just believe that our board could work with us a whole lot better than what they’re doing.”
But Monday night, the school board made a move it hopes will ease concerns.
The board passed member Larry Dale’s proposal to create individual contracts for teachers, guaranteeing their salaries and benefits while negotiations continue on a new union contract.
“This, I believe, will add some piece of mind so teachers can fully enjoy their vacation this month, in July,” said Jefferson Parish School Board President Mark Jacobs.
Union president Meladie Munch said it’s a start, but teachers will still fight for more protections.
“I think it was a nice gesture, but it’s still not a collective bargaining agreement and I think we want to fashion something,” Munch said. “If they were willing to do those things, I’m still concerned as to why they didn’t just extend the original contract, if they’re guaranteeing what was in it.”
And through signs and chants, teachers did their best to express their concerns over what they believe is lost, as the days pass without a new deal.
“Stability, seniority – even though it’s gone by the state – but we won’t have any protections, anyone to represent us if you’re being reprimanded or not being treated fairly,” said teacher Joyce Blunt.