A Message to the Bricolage Community: A Historic Day at Bricolage

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Yesterday was an exciting day for Bricolage Academy! 

 

After years of organizing, educators reached the moment when we were able to submit a petition to the administration and the board asking that our union be formally recognized. Research and history have proven that by coming together in a more formalized way, educators will feel empowered and teacher retention increases! This union is meant to continue protecting what is already great about Bricolage by continuing to advocate for progress. 

 

Yesterday afternoon, a small delegation delivered a petition to Troave' and the Bricolage Board, asking for the Board to voluntarily recognize our union. We chose to go directly to Bricolage leadership instead of to the National Labor Board because we believe that this can be the beginning of a strong and positive collaboration. 80% of eligible employees signed the petition for recognition and we are proud and happy to have such a strong consensus among staff.

 

Throughout this school year, teachers, paraprofessionals, and everyone in a school building has been reminded that our voices are more powerful together and when backed by our leadership. The 2020-2021 school year started strong when Troave and the board made revisions to the staff benefits package. While difficult decisions needed to be made, the transparency, collaboration, and sincerity that filled our meetings allowed for a resolution which satisfies all parties. 

 

The empathy and integrity shown by leaders at Bricolage has strengthened our resolve to build a strong union of educators. Through the union, we strengthen the ability to collaborate through thoughtful conversations about complex topics. This type of teamwork is not new to the Bricolage family. Throughout our years we have shown the power of true collaboration over differences.

 

Everyone in our school shares a fierce dedication to the students we serve. As educators, we are so grateful to be able to work in such a supportive and diverse community. That foundation has given us the confidence to trust our collective voice and speak up about what we need. We are not looking to upend life at Bricolage, rather we hope to preserve it’s excellence and build a stronger future. A day will come when the current CEO, principal, board members, teachers, and students are a mere memory - so we must think about the legacy we leave now. Creating a union ensures that educators and our profession are respected no matter who enters the halls, because that is what we deserve. 

 

Many of us have been looking forward to this moment for a long time and find ourselves now also looking back at the legacy of unionism in New Orleans. Many heroic educators, often with black educators at the forefront, have come before us and make this progress possible today. Through that legacy, we will strengthen our community in service to our goal: to be a school where everyone gets what they need to become innovators who changed the world.

 

If you would like to learn more about our decision to form a union, please take a look at the attached booklet, and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

 

Yours in education,

Bricolage Academy Educators United