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Morris Jeff United Educators Ratify their third Collective Bargaining Agreement with Morris Jeff Community School

Morris Jeff United Educators Ratify their third Collective Bargaining Agreement with Morris Jeff Community School

Contract includes new paid parental leave, substantial raises, and improvements to educators' quality of life.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - On Tuesday afternoon, Morris Jeff United Educators, a chapter of the United Teachers of New Orleans, signed their newest collective bargaining agreement with Morris Jeff Community School.  The Contract was ratified by the MJCS Board on Monday, December 11 and by the Union on Wednesday, December 13. 80% of Union members voted, with 98% in support of ratification. This is the third contract between the Union and the school, and was negotiated over the course of the calendar year.

“Our newly ratified contract reflects the progress that comes from collective action and the value of educator voice in building strong, equitable schools.  

Based on feedback from our members, MJUE focused on bargaining for policies that most affected the quality of life of MJCS educators at a time when teacher retention and sustainability is a mounting concern. We secured substantial pay increases for all of our members, established paid leave for families welcoming new children, and codified language that honors planning time and a sustainable work day.

The collaboration between MJUE and Morris Jeff Community School ensures that we continue to be a school community that aims at providing an education  that is a source of freedom and possibility for all students, educators and their families,” said MJUE Chapter Chair Nina Leuzzi. 

“As two expectant mothers, we are grateful that our School and our Union were able to come together and formulate an inclusive plan for families who are expecting new children. By securing paid family leave in this contract, it lessens the financial stress of having a new child, provides stability, and makes us feel valued as educators and moms. Morris Jeff has proven to be a school that genuinely values the people working for it, and the collaboration between MJUE and Morris Jeff Community School  is a testament to the community that makes us MJCS,”  said Special Education Teacher, Charlotte Lucito and Spanish Teacher Annabelle Williamson

For employees who have worked at Morris Jeff for 12 months or longer, the New Child Leave Provision will provide 38 days of paid leave for the birthing parent at 40%, to be used concurrently with short and long term disability, securing 100% of pay for families during the duration. Families seeking adoption are also covered, with the policy granting paid leave at 100% for 15 days for a non school aged child and 10 days for a school-aged child. Non-birthing parents or secondary parents are granted paid leave for 10 days at 100%. All parental leave can be taken concurrently with FLMA policy. 

“When we started our collective bargaining process for this contract, we felt strongly that a formal parental leave policy was a priority to establish for Morris Jeff employees.  Through this process, we heard directly from teachers about what was important for them.  At the same time, they were able to hear from Management about shared desires and structural and implementation factors that they may not encounter directly in their roles.  We were able to work together to solidify a parental leave policy we can all be proud of,” said Executive Director of Finance & Operations, Jared Frank.

The agreement will remain in effect until December 31, 2026.


The contract marks significant improvements for the educators at Morris Jeff, here are some highlights:

  1. New Parental Leave Paid Leave provisions provide for employees employed for 12 months or longer:
    1. 38 days paid leave at 40% for the birthing parent to be used concurrently with short or long term disability.
    2. 15 days paid leave for the adoption of a child
    3. 10 days paid leave for the secondary parent
  2. New Parental Paid Leave provisions for new employees before 12 months of employment:
    1. 5 paid days of leave to be used concurrently with short or long term disability for the birthing parent.
  3. Protected planning time and a reduction in after school work hours
  4. Significant increases in wages:
    1. Teaching Assistants’ scale now starts at a living wage.
      1. Step 0 High School diploma increased by $3,008 (this wage is now the the equivalent of $16.47 per hour)
      2. Step 21 Bachelor’s degree increased by $6,396
      3. Step 30 Associate's degree increased by $5,022
    2. TA and Teachers’ salary scale condensed so that staff can reach the top of the scale sooner.
    3. A major increase in wages for mid level and advanced career teachers.
      1. Step 30 has increased by $8,418 for Bachelors, $7,487 for Masters, and $6,256 for Masters +30
      2. Step 20 has increased by $5,613 for Bachelors, $5,114 for Masters, and $4,316 for Masters +30

Here are a selection of photos from the ratification vote and the signing of the agreement.

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