The Rapides Federation of Teachers and School Employees was one of five chapters of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers to receive the “Union Values in Action Award” on Sunday, November 23 at the 44th annual LFT convention in Covington. The award is presented “for improving the lives of members, enhancing the influence of the union and advancing the mission of public education.” RFT/SE President Leona Venson, left, accepted the award from LFT President Steve Monaghan.
(Covington – November 23, 2008) Five local chapters of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers today received the Union Values in Action Award for improving the lives of members, enhancing the influence of the union and advancing the mission of public education.
The award recognizes the efforts of local LFT chapters to promote the union agenda and express commitment to the values that make the Federation the largest professional organization for teachers and school employees in Louisiana.
“These Federation chapters exemplify what the LFT stands for,” said LFT President Steve Monaghan. “The Union Values in Action Award serves as an inspiration and a road map for other chapters around the state. It shows how much can be accomplished when we are true to the principles that led us into the union movement in the first place.”
The awards were presented at the 44th annual LFT convention at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites in Covington.
Rapides Federation of Teachers and School Employees: Last May, the Rapides Federation discovered that a portion of a tax dedicated to the school board for employee salaries was improperly being rebated to businesses by the parish police jury. RFT/SE created an action plan that included newsletters, flyers, school meetings and getting the story out to the news media.
President Leona Venson addressed the police jury, demanding that the money be returned to the school board. Because of RFT/SE’s action, the police jury agreed to return some of the funds, which were distributed to teachers and school employees in October. Because the school board is reluctant to pursue the rest of the improperly rebated tax money, RFT/SE is now working with legal counsel on a strategy to fully reimburse educators.