Red River United

Red River United

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A proud union serving teachers and school employees in Northwest Louisiana.

Red River United is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT). The Caddo, Bossier, and Red River Parish Teachers & School Employees have come together under an umbrella organization with a new title– “Red River United, Local 4995.”

The three groups worked on the idea for a while, and they say it makes sense to join together. President of

Operating as usual

04/30/2024

Your legislators want to silence your union. Don't let them. Call your legislators and tell them to vote against these bills HB572, HB523, HB571, HB268, SB129, SB331, SB 292, HB712, SB264, SB263

04/25/2024

We visited the Louisiana State Capitol today. Here’s our testimony in response to the anti-union bill, HB919.

Good morning, Chairman Crews and committee members,

I am Jordan Thomas, the Executive Vice-President of Red River United and the President of Caddo Federation of Teachers and Support Personnel. I am also a certified administrator and teacher who served in our Louisiana classrooms for nearly 10 years. I come before you today on behalf of the teachers and school employees I represent.

When I served as an English/ Language Arts Teacher, I taught my students to read, analyze, interpret, and make inferences. In fact, I used that same skill set as I read Bill 919, which states, any organization on behalf of which an employer withholds funds pursuant to this Section shall certify to the employer that none of the membership dues will be used for political activity. Furthermore, it states, it only applies to dues owed by teachers or other school employees to any organization of teachers or other school employees.

In my reading, I noted what I inferred are a number of incongruities in the proposed intent as it applies to teachers and school employee organizations. That is what brings me here today, which is an effort to highlight the inequities of this bill.

According to our public records request in Caddo Parish Schools, there are 22 business entities paid by employees using payroll deductions.

CADDO ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS
FOOD SERVICES DUES
BUS DRIVERS PROF
RED RIVER UNITED
ASSOCIATED PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS OF LA
LA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL EXECUTIVES
NEW YORK LIFE
COLUMBIA MANAGEMENT
HORACE MANN
SECURITY BENEFITS
USAA LIFE
VALIC AIG
METROPOLITAN
JACKSON NATIONAL
AXA EQUITABLE
AMERICO
WADDELL & REED`
VOYA FINANCIAL
LINCOLN INVESTMENT
CADDO TEACHERS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
WESLA CREDIT UNION
UNITED WAY

Of these 22, 6 are professional organizations who have historically been singled out for their roles in political activities. However, it may not be known to you that many of the companies who participate in payroll deduction also contribute to campaigns. New York Life, USAA, and Waddell and Reed for example, have registered Political Action Committees, and in fact many others do so as well.

It appears this legislation only has language prohibiting teacher and school employee organizations from political contributions when there is absolutely no mention of tying continued dues deductions to a prohibition of political contributions for any others.

To place restrictions on a select few, the professional organizations of this state, appears to be counterintuitive to Louisiana Revised Statute 23:822 Freedom of organization and other activities.

Within that statute, it states… therefore, it is necessary, the individual worker have full freedom of association, self- organization and designation of representatives of…in dealing with such employers the individual unorganized worker is helpless to exercise actual liberty of his own choosing.

Committee members, this is a right to work state, our members are free to join or remove themselves at their will. What you are imposing here is not freedom. What one can actually infer you are imposing here today is, in fact, interference of their freedom.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 34th president and a true patriarch of our nation, said it best —

Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of their right to join the union of their choice.

I know there are no fools here today, and you would never willingly seek to diminish the rights of those you entrust to serve our states greatest resource, our boys and girls. These are the same rights afforded to every other Louisianan. As I conclude, please consider the inequities presented to you, and the harm that will be caused. I also ask you to ensure you protect the freedoms of us all. Thank you for your time.

04/25/2024

Tonight, the CPSB voted unanimously to appoint Leisa Woolfolk as Interim Superintendent to begin June 1st. The board also moved Emily Stanford’s start date as Director of Human Resources to June 1st.

04/24/2024

The 2024-25 MFP (HCR 21) will be heard on the House floor Thursday morning. It does not include a permanent pay raise for educators. Instead, the proposed stipend means teachers and staff may receive less income next year than this year, further destabilizing the profession and the individuals working hard for our students every day.

Tell your legislators to send the MFP back to BESE and give educators the raise they deserve!

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/demand-a-permanent-pay-raise-for-teachers/

04/23/2024

Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!

Call your legislators and tell them to vote against these bills: HB572, HB523, HB571, HB268, SB129, SB331, SB 292, HB712, SB264, SB263.

Professional dues deductions from your school district’s payroll are the target of several bills in this legislative session. While many other companies will be able to
continue deducting from your check, if these bills pass, you will no longer be able to pay your professional dues through your school district’s payroll.

It's About Us- the Teachers and School Employees!

Tell them to stop these bills that will inhibit teachers' and school employees' ability to exercise their right to join a union.

04/21/2024

Professional dues deductions from your school district’s payroll are the target of a number of bills in this legislative session. While many other companies will be able to
continue deducting from your check, if these bills pass, you will no longer be able to pay your professional dues through your school district’s payroll.

It's About Us- the Teachers and School Employees! Call your legislator and tell them to stop these bills that will inhibit teachers' and school employees' ability to exercise their right to join a union.

04/19/2024

Bossier Member Update:

At yesterday evening’s BPSB Insurance Committee meeting, the committee discussed options other than increasing health and dental insurance premiums by the recommended 5%.
The committee chair, Kenneth Wiggins, alluded towards using reserves rather than increasing premiums. Both Samm Darby (insurance committee) and Erick Falthing (board attendee) echoed the stance of RRU -No premium increases as the employees have not seen a permanent raise in years. Ultimately, the insurance committee adopted the recommendation of the Bossier School’s CFO to increase health and dental premiums by 5% with a 3 to 2 vote.

At the regular BPSB meeting which followed, the whole board had the opportunity to discuss the recommendation discussed in the insurance committee meeting. Board member Kent Bockhaus noted that the 5% increase looks different for each employee and retiree on the BPSB insurance plan as all employees and retirees have to pay the same for other inflated goods such as milk and gas. Other board members such as Sherri Pool, Eric Newman, and Glen Bullard shared that their decision of increasing premiums was a difficult one, but necessary. With a 8 to 3 vote, the recommendation to increase health and dental premiums in the next fiscal year by 5% was adopted by the BPSB.

Also worth mentioning, the BPSB voted on and approved the recommendation that Bossier Parish teachers' last working day will coincide with the students' last day which is Monday, May 20, 2024.

04/16/2024

Walnut Hill Choir Teacher, Berenice Bretado, and her students were a treat at tonight’s Caddo board meeting!

04/16/2024
EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (VOUCHERS) 04/11/2024

Education Savings Accounts (Vouchers): On the Side of Angels

EDUCATION SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (VOUCHERS) ON THE SIDE OF ANGELS - To be on the side of the angels means to make a conscious choice to do what is right, what is fair, what is compassionate, what is good. When it comes to public education and ensuring we are able to provide that opportunity to every boy and girl, would you agree how you...

04/08/2024

Bossier Member Update:

On Thursday, April 4, 2024. The Bossier Parish School Board met to vote on the previously tabled resolution that would allow Bossier Parish Schools’ CFO to adjust premiums (up to 10% without board approval) if expenses of the current year associated with the PPO Plan are more than the income of the PPO Plan for the year prior.

Red River United took the opportunity to speak on this resolution as it would have taken away input from current and retired Bossier Parish employees. Additionally, it would sidestep the BPSB’s fiduciary responsibility/duties.

After discussion, the resolution was edited. Now adopted, the resolution includes Bossier Parish School Board approval for all premium increases (as it should).

At this same meeting, the request for a 5% increase in health and dental insurance rates was postponed. The reason for the delay was to exhaust all other avenues to avoid an increase on the current and retired employees, especially since they recognized that Bossier Parish School Board had not given a permanent pay raise since 2019.

03/27/2024

PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Don't get us wrong, we have nothing against parents' choice when it comes to private, charter, or home schools. However, we are strong supporters of public education. Why? Because we recognize that without it, our children would be left without the educational opportunities that we have today. Before the Civil War, education was limited to those who were fortunate enough to receive it from their parents, caregivers, the church, or boarding schools. The majority of children were left to fend for themselves. It was only after tax-funded public education was mandated by the Republicans in this state that all children had the chance to attend school. And for that, we are truly grateful.
Public education is exactly what it sounds like – education for the public. It serves as a great equalizer and a catalyst for opportunity. It is where our children learn to work and play together, and it strengthens our community. When you witness a struggling community, you will often find that reflected in its school system. Diverting funds from public schools to support private education goes against the principles of a community-minded society, and we will undoubtedly suffer the consequences.
Furthermore, choice has always been a cornerstone of Caddo Schools since the 1980s when Superintendent Walter Lee implemented magnet programs. These programs have successfully kept our students enrolled in Caddo schools and have played a significant role in maintaining our tax base.
Instead of diminishing public education, let us expand on this success. Let's establish REAL K-12 magnet programs in each of the 12 school board districts and continue to build upon that foundation as needed. Let's meet the changing needs of our schools head-on. In high schools that are currently under-utilized, let's replace outdated programs with dual enrollment and trade apprenticeship programs.
We consider our public school teachers and employees to be the promise of public education. We see ourselves as the custodians of that promise. We invite you to join us in upholding the commitment to our children's future. The success and well-being of the majority of our children rely on it.

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Videos (show all)

Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Listen to the Teachers and School Employees. Tell Baton Rouge to stay out of our paychecks. It's About Us!Call your legi...
Professional dues deductions from your school district’s payroll are the target of a number of bills in this legislative...
Walnut Hill Choir Teacher, Berenice Bretado, and her students were a treat at tonight’s Caddo board meeting!
PROTESTS ARE NECESSARY!  Not only can you express your concerns, but you can raise awareness regarding situations that n...
It's time to make a stand for the teachers of Louisiana. Learn more: https://fb.watch/ml2124IQ0O/
These part time legislators, enjoy a full time salary and deny teachers a permanent raise...Learn more: https://fb.watch...

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1726 Line Avenue
Shreveport, LA
71101
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