St. John teachers’ union ready to deal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2010

By David Vitrano


RESERVE – The ongoing negotiations between the St. John the Baptist Parish school system and the St. John Association of Educators regarding ways to cut the current budget deficit may soon reach their conclusion.

According to SJAE President Carolyn Batiste, before the last school board meeting the union presented the board with a plan to cut the deficit while saving the jobs of those employees who would have been victims of a Reduction in Force, which was part of the original budget plan.

The union proposed four days of mandatory unpaid furlough for each employee that falls under the union umbrella. According to Batiste, that plan would save the district about $1 million.

School board members may also have to take a $50 per month pay cut, a far cry from board member Russ Wise’s earlier proposal to cut board members’ salaries to $1 per month for the upcoming year.

Batiste said union members have already voted in favor of the proposal, and now they are waiting on the administration and school board.

She said the administration is currently trying to put the proposal into official language, but with Superintendent Courtney Millet out of town this week, she is not sure if it will be ready by the board’s next official meeting, which is scheduled for July 8.