Champion of Professional Learning
Classroom management was the focus of our first PEG’s professional development class, taught by national trainers from AFT. The workshop attracted a large turnout from teachers and assistants hungry to be more effective in the classroom. Our next goal was clear: to grow big enough to participate in AFT’s nationally recognized ER&D (Educational Research and Dissemination) program which offers training to educators in new, research-based practices. In the years since PEG, AFT has trained Red River United members to offer ER&D classes in classroom management, reading comprehension, new instructional models, and more. In close cooperation with the school boards and superintendents, Red River United members are now trained to pass on their expertise both to fellow school staff and to the home school community. These classes are ESSA compliant and qualify for CLU Credit. For more on our Professional Programs and private tutoring sessions, click here to check out our monthly professional learning offerings.
First, Above All: Member Support
Red River United is a tireless advocate for our members at schools and work sites, in administrators’ offices, at School Board meetings, and through the media. We — Red River United officers, worksite leaders, and activists — represent school employees in budget battles and workplace issues. We are also the employee’s voice in public dialogue over stalled pay gains, rising insurance costs, representation rights, and any issue in which workers should be heard. We are about dignity and respect in the workplace. It is worth noting, we do not represent administrators. We prefer take a clear and unambiguous stance on “who has my back.” We offer assistance writing rebuttals, memorandums, and representing you through the grievance process. Call us and ask questions, seek guidance, but above all else, don’t suffer in silence.
Moving Classroom Concerns into Policy and Law
Red River United members are amazing. Because of RRU member’s ideas and activism we have been able to successfully carve out new local school board policies and state law to support the profession of education and our members. We are tireless advocates and understand that although change can be uncomfortable, the status quo is doing NOTHING for our members. Sometimes the best ideas are just that, ideas! We tackle problems every day but advancing creative ideas is really our calling. Do you have an idea on how to advance your profession, support your community public schools and students, or how to reclaim the Joy of Teaching and Learning.
What We’ve Won
- A written policy on duty-free lunch in Caddo and challenges to other parishes. Did you know that duty-free lunch is state law?
- The option of a twice monthly pay schedule.
- Local funding for National Teacher Certification.
- Representation rights at all levels in grievance policy.
- Teachers’ aides pay schedule with differential pay for academic degrees.
- A salary schedule unique to athletic staff.
- A salary schedule for bus drivers and bus attendants.
- Teacher Transfer Forms are now being posted on the CPSB website. You DO NOT have to have your principal’s signature. All principals will be notified of the transfer request by the CPSB Personnel Office.
- All CPSB employees, certified and classified, have been assigned email addresses.
- A segment of the professional development day is to be set aside for records/grades.
- Fought and won to restore a number of jobs lost in Caddo’s Reduction in Force.
- A written CPSB policy on faculty meetings.
- Lactation law for teachers and school employees.
- Policy on excessive paperwork.
- Won back planning time in accordance with state law.
- Revisions to evaluation procedures in local evaluation plans in accordance with state law.
- Supply money.
- Christmas check delivered at Thanksgiving.
- Privatization of school bus routes.
- Raises for support employees.
- Fixed extended sick leave law.
- Seated lunch time law/resolution.
Our Works in Progress
- Paid Maternity/Paternity Leave that will not count against Extended Sick Leave days.
- Duty Free Lunch fulfilled in all parishes.
- 25 Minutes of SEATED lunch time for students.
- 30 minutes of daily recess for students.
- A PAY RAISE FOR ALL SCHOOL EMPLOYEES!
A Positive Presence in the Community
Red River United realizes that to represent employees within our institutions, we must also look outside — to our school system and the families it serves. Thus our union has become an important community partner in family and student support. Our annual program for “Most Improved Student” offers coveted awards for outstanding teacher-student-school collaboration. More than 200 students and their families have been honored in annual award ceremonies.
Red River United is also active in organizations with a broad reach into the Caddo, Bossier, and Red River United communities. When local business, religious and community leaders meet together as the Alliance of Education, we offer them an educators’ perspective. In addition, we sit on the Central Labor Council, speaking up for education in the larger context of local trade union activity.
Perhaps most important, Red River United is a respected partner with the Districts in providing quality professional development for new teachers. We also offer course work for teachers to gain HOUSSE credits in pursuit of Highly Qualified status, and for teacher aides seeking to improve their skills.
Fighting for Education at Home, in Baton Rouge, and in Washington, D.C.
Red River United, like all AFT locals around the country, works hard to elect friends of education to political office. Every day, elected officials at home and in Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C., make decisions that impact teachers, children, and families.
In Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) pushes hard for funding for school employees and education. The LFT is vigilant in protecting educators’ interests on issues ranging from taxes and state budgets to children’s health and collective bargaining.
At the national level, AFT and its local unions work hard with local and state boards and the U.S. Department of Education to tailor No Child Left Behind legislation and other education laws to the needs of teachers, support staff, and children in the classroom.