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New Orleans Teachers Contacting Union For Back Pay After Appellate Court Ruling


A union that represents 7,000 New Orleans teachers fired after Hurricane Katrina is expecting a flurry of phone calls. Word is quickly spreading of the state appeals court ruling awarding them back pay for wrongful termination.

Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan says calls are already coming in from former employees.

The state appellate decision calls for two to three years of back pay for the educators — who were put on disaster leave without pay after Katrina, and finally terminated in March 2006.

Monaghan says some were displaced across the country by the flooding, and some were approaching retirement.

“It’s not like arguing education policies that can spin one way or the other," he said. "People were fired en masse at a time when they were most vulnerable, and the damage that was done changed — in many cases in unalterable ways — where they would spend the rest of their lives, in communities they had no intention to move.”

Monahan says there has been no word yet from the state on whether that unanimous court ruling will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries and Entergy Corporation.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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