January Update

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JFT Update

January 2023

 
From the Lawyer's Desk

By Larry Samuel, JFT General Counsel

 
The Jefferson Parish School Board recently implemented a Biometrics finger-swipe sign-in/sign-out process for employees to monitor employee attendance. Several JFT members have asked whether this is legal and have raised questions concerning privacy rights and possible data breaches.
 
Only four states that have passed laws governing use of biometrics in employment: Illinois, Texas and Washington. One additional state (New Hampshire) has passed a law governing biometrics used by their Department of Motor Vehicles. Louisiana has passed a law but it only applies to biometric data gathered from students, not employees.
 
The laws in the four states listed above do not prohibit the use of biometric means to gather data but the laws have addressed certain issues and imposed some limitations. Those states:
 
  • Require employers to give advance notice of the use of biometrics
  • Provide for employees to give consent
  • Regulate how the data is protected
  • Provide for the destruction of data when employees are no longer employed.

Our legislature has not yet passed any laws providing for these protections. At the present time, Louisiana law does not prohibit this method of obtaining information or data. That said, there will always be concerns about privacy, storage of data, data breaches, and inadvertent dissemination of confidential or personally identifiable information.

The school board’s website has attempted to address those concerns (https://www.jpschools.org/digitaltime) in the section entitled, “Frequently Asked Questions,” the website raises and addresses the following concern:
 
“I am not comfortable providing my fingerprint for various reasons, including data breaches.” The website states:
 

Unlike systems used by government and law enforcement, Kronos technology DOES NOT store actual fingerprint images. In fact, no images are stored at all in the Kronos system. Instead, it scans the ridges and capillaries under the skin of the employee’s fingertip and converts that data into an encrypted mathematical representation called a “hash.”  

The “hash” is a string of letters, numbers and symbols that form a unique identifier that is then associated with each employee’s account. Kronos technology uses a unique algorithm, resolution and capture size that make the encrypted finger scan data incompatible with traditional fingerprinting technology. The encrypted mathematical representation created and stored in the Kronos system CANNOT be used to recreate the actual fingerprint.

Many employers are implementing various forms of obtaining data through biometric means. We will be monitoring cases and developments around the country.
 
JFT Scholarship Opportunities

JFT offers two (2) college or university scholarships. Each scholarship will be in the amount of $500 per year over a period of four years, for a total scholarship of $2,000 each. Children of JFT members, who are graduating high school seniors, are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

Scholarship applications can be found at:
 

Deadline for submitting applications is April 3, 2023.

 
Union Plus Scholarship Program

This scholarship is sponsored by the Union Plus Education Foundation and is open to students attending or planning to attend a four-year college or university, a community college or a technical college or trade school.

The amount of the award ranges from $500 to $4,000. This is a competitive one-time cash award sent to individual winners for undergraduate study beginning in the fall of the same year.
 
Winners are chosen based on academic achievement and potential, character, leadership, social awareness, career goals and financial need. Applications are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators.
 
For more information and to download the 2023 scholarship application, please visit:  
 
Deadline for submitting applications is January 31, 2023.
 
Robert G. Porter Scholarship Program

The Robert G. Porter Scholars Program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education and/or fund their proposed ideas to strengthen and grow their union.

Application window is Dec. 1 - March 31.
 
Learn More & Apply:

https://www.aft.org/member-benefits/education-learning-opportunities/scholarships/robert-g-porter-scholars-program

 
Update on Kesler

Kesler Camese-Jones has retired. Below is a message from her family.

The family of Kesler Camese-Jones thanks everyone for their thoughts and prayers for Kesler’s healing and recovery. She has made miraculous improvements, but still milestones to achieve. We thank you for your continued prayers and support.  
 
 
Notice of Election

Kesler Camese-Jones retired. In accordance with Article VII, Section F of the JFT Constitution, the position of President will be declared vacant and an election will be held to fill the position of President for the remainder of Kesler’s term, which expires in June of 2024. Sandra Hauer (Executive Vice-President) will become Acting President.  

The special election to fill the position of President will be held in May of 2023. Nominations will take place at the JFT General Membership meeting in March of 2023 (date to be set). To be eligible to hold the position of JFT President, you must be a regular member of JFT in continuous good standing for at least one year immediately preceding the final date for nominations (Article VII, Section B of the JFT Constitution). To be eligible to vote, you must be a member in good standing by January 1, 2023 (Section 8 of the JFT Nominations and Elections Procedures).
 
Nominations and Elections Procedures and blank petitions will be available at the JFT office on January 11, 2023. Completed petitions may be submitted at any time prior to 6:00 p.m. at the General Membership Meeting in March of 2023.
 

General Membership Meeting

JFT will have a General Membership Meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 6PM. Please register if you would like to attend the meeting.  

 
Know Your Contract

Recording Teacher Attendance

A school-based teacher shall place only his/her initials on the appropriate attendance roster for recording attendance and the timeliness of arrival but shall not be required to sign out at the end of the work day.

Using the designated time-keeping procedures, teachers are required to sign out and sign back in if they leave campus during the work day for personal, non-work-related reasons. Itinerant teachers shall be required to sign-in with the time of arrival and sign-out at the time of departure using the designated time-keeping procedure.

In the event that the District transitions to a biometric timekeeping system, teachers shall be required to sign in at the start of the work day and sign out at the end of the work day, and as otherwise required under this section.

 
PSRP and School Employees' Corner

Welcome back! JFT wants to know how are you doing with your work assignment. What can be done to improve it?  

A survey link is posted below. JFT needs your feedback. We need to know your concerns that you are experiencing in the workplace. Once all survey results are received, there will be a meeting to discuss the results of the survey. JFT will be using the results to bring to the district and school board.  
 
In addition to the meeting, JFT is looking to host professional development classes for PSRPs and school employees. There will be door prizes awarded at the end of the training.  
 
The link to the survey is: https://forms.gle/mMBR1kRX83rhRdCG8  
 

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