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Orleans Parish


UTNO President Dr. Brenda Mitchell, right, is interviewed in the LFT office for an upcoming segment on the PBS News Hour.


UTNO has telephone lines in Baton Rouge

Members of the United Teachers of New Orleans can now reach the UTNO staff without calling the LFT office first. Telephone lines have been installed in the LFT office that connect directly to UTNO.

The local Baton Rouge number for UTNO is (225) 929-8546. Toll-free numbers are 1-866-793-UTNO (8866); 1-866-799 UTNO (8866) and 1-866-929-4749.

Health insurance coverage to continue through October

The existing health insurance coverage for New Orleans Public Schools employees will continue in effect, at no cost to employees, at least through the end of October. Employees will continue to have health insurance coverage after October as well, and a plan to do that is currently under development by NOPS and Coventry, the school district's benefits provider. Further details on that plan will be announced as soon as it is finalized.

Normally, employees pay a portion of the premiums for health insurance, which is deducted from their paychecks. Since Hurricane Katrina has caused such enormous financial burdens, the school district will pay the entire premium for the coming month. In addition, there will be no changes to the coverage for retirees through October.

Acting Superintendent Dr. Ora Watson said: "The health and well-being of our employees is crucially important. They are the pillars of our school system and we hope to see them back in classrooms in Orleans Parish very soon. We understand the hardship that Katrina has caused and hopefully, this announcement of continued health insurance will help ease their minds about their health care needs."

Bill Roberti, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal and chief restructuring officer for NOPS, said: "We are committed to reopening schools as soon as possible. That is the best way of getting revenues flowing into the district, bringing employees back to work and giving the families of New Orleans a sense of hope for the future. Given our difficult financial position at this time, we have joined with State Superintendent Picard in appealing to the federal government for financial assistance for our employees. In addition to that, we are pleased that we can now reassure our employees that they will continue to have health insurance coverage."

Orleans Parish employees: how to get your paycheck from Western Union

Many Orleans Parish School Board employees say they have been unable to get their paychecks from Western Union because they cannot provide a "control number."

If you are asked for a control number, ask the Western Union clerk to call 1-800-325-6000, and they will get the information they need to issue your check.

When applying for paychecks at Western Union, employees whose check totals less than $1,000 will only need one piece of primary identification with a photograph. Those whose paychecks are over $1,000 will need a photo ID and one other piece of identification (credit card, utility bill, etc.).


September 30 is target date to correct Orleans paycheck errors


 Due to the disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina, most employees did not receive the correct net amount in their paychecks this week. Spokesmen for Alvarez and Marsal, the Orleans Parish School Board's financial officers, say they plan to "true up" their payroll records by September 30. As soon as a distribution date is announced for the paychecks, it will be posted on this Web site.

Please register to keep in touch with your colleagues

No doubt you are tired of filling out forms, but please take the time to click this link and complete an online form:

LFT is putting together a list of all our displaced members. Right now, we need this list to help your school systems get you back to work as soon as possible. We want to know where you are, and how you are doing, and what is needed to get your lives back to some semblance of normality.

In the months - and perhaps years - to come, this list will be the basis for an online community of Hurricane Katrina survivors. We will compare experiences, give each other the support that only people who have shared a great catastrophe can give, and offer assistance as we all rebuild our lives.

Please complete the form. We care deeply about our members, and we want to keep our family together. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New Orleans educators can pick up their checks today

Employees of the Orleans Parish school system can pick up their paychecks starting today at all Western Union outlets. Find the nearest Western Union office by clicking on

At a press conference this morning, spokespersons for district financial managers Alvarez and Marsal said that the district’s financial records were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and that the paychecks issued today will be estimates of what is owed employees rather than accurate amounts.

The spokespersons, Bill Roberti and Sajan George, said that of the $20 million required to make an Orleans Parish school payroll, only $13 million has actually been deposited with Western Union. Employees will receive a supplemental check later to bring their salary up to the right amount.
They said that today’s checks will cover the payroll that was due to teachers on September 2 for work done from August 11-24, and will also cover work from August 25-28, the last day before the hurricane.

Non-teaching employees, who work on a different payroll calendar than teachers, already received a paycheck for  work from August 4-17, and will receive paychecks that cover August 18-28.
With the exception of the supplemental check, this will be the last payroll honored by Orleans Parish until schools reopen.

When applying for paychecks at Western Union, employees whose check totals less than $1,000 will only need one piece of primary identification with a photograph. Those whose paychecks are over $1,000 will need a photo ID and one other piece of identification (credit card, utility bill, etc.).
The Alvarez and Marsal press release is online at



UTNO credit union accounts available


Members of the New Orleans public schools’ credit union may access their accounts at the Telco Federal Credit Union, 13404 Airline Highway in Baton Rouge, or at any other NCUA-affiliated credit union.

For the benefit of New Orleans teachers and school employees, the Telco Federal Credit Union will soon provide office space and a telephone line for the United Teachers of New Orleans. As soon as the telephone number is available, it will be published here.


UTNO Health and Welfare benefits continue


Members of the United Teachers of New Orleans still retain their benefits under the Health and Welfare Fund. The Fund’s Board of Trustees will meet soon to determine how benefits will be provided in the future.


Alvarez and Marsal post salary information


Answers to questions frequently asked by Orleans Parish teachers and school employees


Message from Superintendent of Schools Ora Watson


While most of the country has been watching events in New Orleans on television, we have been living it. All the residents of this community have been through a nightmare and our hearts particularly go out to the children whose lives have been devastated. Many of them are children we've served in the New Orleans Public Schools and we owe it to them to rebuild the school system as quickly as possible. ( Click for more: