Legal Fight Could Happen Because of Caddo ‘Heroes Pay’
Some Caddo teachers are talking about taking a 'day of action" because some teachers won't be getting "heroes pay".
But the Caddo Parish School Board has 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.
Jackie Lansdale with Red River United Teachers Union says this proposal was not discussed with teacher groups and some educators who were out on sick leave or maternity leave will be left out. Lansdale says this attendance incentive plan has been put in place after the fact and those type of plans should be put in place ahead of time. She adds: "you know to exclude particular groups like those who are on pregnancy, age, disability or medical leave will be met with a legal challenge." She says "why are you doing this again" We have fought institutional misogynistic behaviors by this administration and this board before and we will fight again." Lansdale also told the board her members have already voted to take a "day of action" because of this policy which she says clearly leaves people out. She did not elaborate on what a day of action means. But some teachers say it will be a call-in sick day by employees who are not happy about this policy.
This Caddo Heroes Supplement is estimated to cost $6 million dollars. The money will come from higher than anticipated sales tax revenues.
Caddo Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree says
This year is one that has been unlike any other, and through it all our teachers and staff have done incredible work. In recent years we’ve made every effort to ensure we are providing a competitive salary and benefits package, but the work this year for those in the trenches goes beyond that. This supplement allows us to recognize and reward the individuals who were on the frontlines of helping us to keep students safe while providing instruction. Our teachers and support staff have had to completely rethink the way they perform their jobs. Through it all, they were dedicated to showing up for their students, and for that we are forever grateful.
The employees will get the additional money June. Employees who were absent for workshops, trainings or due to COVID-19 would not have those days counted against the eligibility requirements.