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Welcome Back to a New School Year

JFT Update

August 25, 2023

Welcome Back!

JFT would like to welcome our members to the 23/24 school year! JFT is here to advocate and assist you with your workplace concerns. Our teachers, paraeducators, and school support employees did an incredible job with the challenges of last school year.

JFT has dedicated staff members who advocate and who are ready to step up to the plate for you. The newest member of JFT staff is Executive Vice-President, Bonnetta Franklin. Returning members ofthe JFT staff include: Sandra Hauer, President, Karen Riggleman Vice President of Para Educators and School Staff, Mona Icamina, Hearing and Grievance Specialist, Lauren Francis, Lead Organizer, Maria Deloch, Organizer, Yvette Smith, Organizer and Lauren Marino, JFT Secretary.

JFT's Collective Bargaining Agreement is expiring in June 2024. We look forward to negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement forbetter working conditions for employees. Organizers will be out inschools getting your feedback.

We want to wish everyone a successful school year!

JP Schools Board Meeting

The JP Schools monthly board meeting was Wednesday, August 1, 2023. JFT President, Sandra Hauer, spoke to the board about badly needed pay raises. She brought to light the phone calls that were received at the JFT Office over the summer. There were two types of phone calls, "what about us" and "I'm sorry I have to leave the district, but I have to pay my bills."

Employees were left wondering why everyone in surrounding parishes were getting percentage raises across the board or thousands more added to their salary and the largest school district in the state was giving nothing. This left JP Schools unable to compete with other districts resulting in more employees leaving and worsening an already teacher and employee shortage.

Ms. Hauer highlighted how the district and JFT worked together on the $31 million dollar Recruitment and Retention stipend and wants to find a way to get badly needed raises in the pockets of JP Schools employees. JFT will continue advocating for the needed pay raises for employees and bring working condition to the forefront. Watch Ms. Hauer's testimony here:

More recently, JFT was interviewed by WWL about the concerns of teachers and school employees going into the new school year. Ms. Hauer addressed the need for pay raises and concerns that employees had about overburdensome workloads. She raised the alarm about the problems driving employees away from the district and the need for Jefferson to be more competitive with surrounding parishes. See the full story here.

Know Your Contract

Article VI -- Duty

All teachers shall have an uninterrupted thirty (30)minute duty-free lunch period each full day. On the days when students are not in attendance at lunchtime (e.g. exam days, parent conference days, records days, ect.) teachers shall be given (1) hour of duty-free lunch.

Duty shall not exceed more than (30) minutes per day and shall be assigned on a fair and equitable basis. The duty schedule shall be reviewed and adjusted as needed, every nine weeks.

**Duty should not extend the work day.**

Article V -- Planning Time

All teachers shall have an uninterrupted planning and preparation time each day equal to the length of a daily class period. The planning and preparation time shall be duty free unless circumstances clearly make it unfeasible and no other alternatives exist to rectify the problem. The planning and preparation time shall be used judiciously and appropriately and may include collaborative planning, grade level/departmental meetings and professional development and study groups, provided such shall occur no more than twice each week.

Explanation of Affiliates Power in Numbers

JFT, LFT, AFT: questions about the alphabet soup? Our power as a union comes from organizing on the local,state and national level on issues that affect educators, school support staff, and the communities we serve. As a member of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers (JFT), you are also a member of the Louisiana Federation ofTeachers (LFT) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

By joining our local, you are not only standing with your colleagues, you are standing with 1.7 million educators across the country fighting for public schools and public education.

JFT Building Representative Workshop

JFT will be holding a Building Representative workshop for our building representatives.

This is a great opportunity to learn about the building representative structure and how to be a JFT Building Representative.

Breakfast will be served. Larry Carter, LFTPresident and Larry Samuel, Legal Counsel for JFT will be present.

The workshop will be held Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 9-12.

Bonnetta Franklin

JFT Executive Vice President

Ms. Bonnetta Franklin is an Educational Diagnostician who was formerly employed as an Evaluation Coordinator with the Pupil Appraisal/Student Support Department of JP Schools. Ms. Franklin has over 32 years of experience in various public school systems. Her commitment to education includes fourteen years in Orleans Public Schools as a Special Education Teacher, ten years with an alternative public school in Wichita, Kansas as a regular and special education teacher, and just finished her eighth year in JP Schools.

Ms. Franklin has demonstrated her allegiance and loyalty to the American Federation of Teachers by sustaining her membership with the local teachers' union within various school districts she has worked for. Before accepting Vice President of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers, she was an active JFT member. Ms. Franklin has volunteered and campaigned for thedistrict salary increase, participated in the Teacher Leader Program, served on JFT's planning committee forour state convention, and attended the past three conventions as a delegate. She attended the AFT-sponsored Specialized In Support Personnel Summit in Washington, DC and participated in AFT's five month Medicaid on Schools Advisory sessions as a panelist.

Ms. Franklin's extensive educational background, continued public service in our school system, caring attitude, and commitment to helping others makes her an instrumental asset to the JFT staff.

Check Your Pay Stub

At the AFT 2022 Convention, delegates approved no per capita increase in September 2022 and an increase of $.20 (20 cents) permember per month effective September 1, 2023. Teachers dues will now be $29.30 a pay period and paraeducators and school support employees will now be $16.45. This was a national dues increase.

The JFT office receives call from members and non members inquiring about their membership and dues being deducted. You can check your dues deduct on you pay stub. On the bottom right of your pay stub under after tax deductions, you will see the code: JPLOCTCH. This lets you know if your dues are being deducted. If you think you are a member and dues are NOT being deducted, please call the JFT office.

PSRP Corner

PSRPs (paraeducators, custodians, secretaries, cafeteria, clerks) have their own JFT staff representative. Ms. Karen Riggleman is a thirty year PSRP now on JFT staff full time and ready to help our PSRPs.

General Paraeducator Policies:

  • Paraeducators cannot be taken from instructional time to sere duty and/or fulfill office responsibilities.
  • All assigned duties (bus, yard, cafeteria, etc.) should not exceed 60minutes per day.
  • Paraeducators assigned to inclusion classes will work with all students.
  • Paraeducators may accompany students with whom they work to the cafeteria and may supervise them and other students.
  • Paraeducators may be used as substitutes only in emergencies when substitutes, are not available. The unavailability of substitutes must be documented.
  • Keep a log of days that you substitute.
  • Work breaks are recommended for paraeducators. Work break for paraeducators should not exceed one (1) in the morning and one (1) in the afternoon, a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes in duration at times which are least detrimental to the continuous efficiency of the classroom schedule.

Organizers will be out in schools.

JFT has a new organizer, Yvette Smith ( Yvette will be out in school stalking to members. Lauren Francis and Maria Deloch will be out as well. Stop by and say "hi!"

*This is an amended copy of the newsletter that went out with the 2022 instead of 2023 date.

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