School Super, Union Head at Odds Over Teachers’ COVID Pay
Red River United Teachers Union President Jackie Lansdale disagrees vehemently with Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree when he praises a COVID pay supplement for most district teachers.
On Tuesday the board voted to approve a one-time supplement of $1,000 for district employees as a thank you for their work during a difficult school year. But this one-time lump sum payment is stirring controversy because not all employees will be included. This heroes supplement check will go to workers who have been on the job for 90% of their scheduled time during the pandemic.
Lansdale strongly objects to the decision to leave some teachers off the list of recipients. "I want to know just what they think a hero is," she says, calling the board and the superintendent misogynistic for excluding some groups, includingfemale teachers on maternity leave. "It was an attendance incentive and anybody who missed (10%) was excluded and that included people who had a baby."
And Lansdale adds that teachers who were present through the pandemic will be excluded because their leave will be beginning soon and emphasizes that a lawsuit or even a teacher "action" could be in the offing.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Goree defends the board. "I'm really excited about what our board did. We've had a favorable sales tax year...and our board has decided to take about $6 million a year and asked to give it back to our employees.
"Let's say you are a pregnant person...and one of the qualifiers for a payout is an evaluation, but you're not there to get the evaluation, you don't get the supplement. Now you Now you get your full salary and you get to take advantage of the beautiful and rich benefits that we offer. Nothing is taken away from you, you just would not qualify for the supplement."
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