UPDATE: The board of Benjamin Franklin High School unanimously voted to ratify the contract with the United Teachers of New Orleans. Here is a link to the contract that has now been ratified by teachers and the board.
NEW ORLEANS (March 18, 2015) –Benjamin Franklin High School and the United Teachers of New Orleans announce a tentative agreement on an initial three-year contract. This bargaining agreement is a promising start to a stronger relationship and improved communication between the faculty, the administration and the school board, reinforcing the school’s mission of preparing students of high academic achievement to be successful in life.
“This agreement will provide the job security, fairness, transparency and voice in school policies that we need in order to best serve our students. We feel lucky to be able to work with a school board that understands and shares these values and look forward to working together to make Franklin even stronger,” said Gregory Swanson, a Benjamin Franklin High School English teacher.
The contract makes tangible the school’s recognition that the faculty is a significant part of the school’s success while meeting its duty to be a responsible steward of school finances and future endeavors. The goal is to ensure Franklin maintains it stature as the top performing high school in the city of New Orleans, as well as one of the best in the nation.
As the first labor agreement for the high school since chartering in 2006, it showcases what is possible when both sides are committed to a fair, collaborative and transparent process that is focused on guaranteeing all students the high-quality education they need and deserve.
Franklin Board President Duris Holmes commented that “in choosing to proceed directly to bargaining, the Board of Franklin made a commitment to partnering with our teachers to make the Franklin community the best possible for our students and their families. This dialogue resulted in a collective bargaining agreement that will play a critical part in growing with that goal into the future.”
As a next step, the agreement will be presented to Board of Directors on March 19, 2015 at their monthly meeting for their approval and ratification.
“Collaboration, as exemplified by the relationship between Franklin and the teachers through this process, is essential to building strong charter schools,” said Larry Carter, United Teachers of New Orleans president. “This sort of cooperative effort shows that teachers can have a voice in maintaining an environment where Franklin’s students will continue to excel.”