School board asks teachers to be patient about pay
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 6, 2001
Tuesday, February 06, 2001
The Natchez Democrat
VIDALIA, La. – As Concordia Parish’s two teacher unions poll
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their members in preparation for a possible sickout, school board
members are pleading with the teachers to be patient.
&uot;You all try to hang with us please,&uot; said Concordia
School Board President Mike Grantham.
During Tuesday’s regular board meeting, school board members
approved a good faith resolution in response to the possibility
of a sickout.
&uot;(We’re) asking employees to be patient until the Legislature
does something before taking any job action,&uot; said Superintendent
Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman.
The board members support a teacher raise but they are asking
&uot;for all the organizations to be patient.&uot;
Two teacher unions have local chapters in Concordia Parish:
the Concordia Association of Educators and the Concordia Federation
JoAnn Gardner, president of the CFT, attended Tuesday’s meeting.
&uot;We do have surveys out at this time to see if there is enough
support in a nine-parish area to support a sickout,&uot; she
The CFT wants to make sure people want to enter the teaching
profession in upcoming years.
&uot;We’re thinking about the future,&uot; Gardner said.
&uot;We’re worried about the profession. We’re worried too about
the children of today but also the children of tomorrow.&uot;
Peterman said he understands the teachers’ situation.
&uot;They’ve been patient a long time and they’ve been made
a lot of promises and none of (those) promises have been kept,&uot;
he said. &uot;They’re frustrated, and they’re wanting the governor
and the Legislature to follow through on their promises.&uot;
The school board gave the district the authority Tuesday to
modify the 2000-01 calendar in the event of a sickout. Dates for
a sickout have not been set.
The state Legislature will hold a special session starting
March 5 to vote on gambling taxes that would give each teacher
about a $2,000 raise.
Peterman said the state is considering taking $1,000 of the
raise for each teacher from the minimum foundation program, a
fund he says cannot adequately meet that need without putting
financial stress on other areas of the district.