FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 20, 2022
NEW ORLEANS, LA – On Thursday, Oct. 20, representatives from Benjamin Franklin High School and the United Teachers of New Orleans, AFT Local 527, came together to sign a newly negotiated salary schedule for teachers. The agreement is the result of months of cooperative and constructive negotiations and will result in significant pay increases across the board for school personnel, including non-teaching staff.
“We are proud to see the result of the hard work done by educators and administrators together to develop Franklin's new salary schedule,” said UTNO President Dave Cash. “When teachers and school staff have a collective bargaining agreement, victories like this become possible. I hope school employees across the city will see this as a beacon of hope and aspire to it for themselves."
In total, the financial package represents a $207,481 increased investment in salaries over the next three years. Every position will get a raise on top of the $1,500 statewide pay raise, and the newly negotiated salary scale will increase pay for new teachers entering the school as well as allow teachers to reach their top pay sooner.
“This increase represents the culmination of many hours of discussion among school leadership, the governing board, and the teachers at Franklin,” said Alea Cot, president of Advocates for Academic Excellence in Education, Benjamin Franklin High School’s governing board. “It helps advance the board’s goal of equity in pay, as well as recognize and reward the hard work of our teachers. We are proud to say we have the best teachers for the best students in the city.”
Benjamin Franklin teachers and support staff have been unionized with UTNO since 2014. Their local chapter within UTNO is known as the United Teachers of Franklin. A new collective bargaining agreement was approved by both the Union and the school’s governing board in August of 2021, which included provisions to ensure salary negotiations would take place this summer.
“Our main goal in these negotiations was to ensure that our scale was consistent, fair, and predictable,” said Jay Weisman, chair of United Teachers of Franklin and a member of the math faculty. “It was difficult work to balance these goals with ensuring across-the-board pay raises, but all of the hard work paid off.
The current collective bargaining agreement and salary scale will remain in effect until negotiations resume in June of 2025.
About Benjamin Franklin High School
Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans’ most outstanding public charter school, has been preparing students for success through academic achievement since its founding in 1957. Consistently ranked as a “top public high school in the nation” by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and Business Week, Ben Franklin is repeatedly named a National Blue Ribbon School, most recently in 2021, and produces Presidential and National Merit Scholars each year. The exceptional students, faculty, and staff at Ben Franklin are the best and the brightest in New Orleans. For more information, please visit bfhsla.org.
About the United Teachers of New Orleans
The United Teachers of New Orleans, AFT Local 527, is a union of professionals, organized to collectively and democratically increase equity in public education for students, parents, teachers, and communities in order to protect dignity and civil rights for all. Teachers and school personnel have found their voice and power for advocacy through Local 527 since its founding in 1937. For more information, please visit utno.org.