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Lusher board passes resolution to stay neutral toward teachers union effort

Lusher Charter School’s board of directors took a neutral stance this morning on newly formed United Teachers of Lusher’s attempt to unionize, with the board approving a resolution to that effect.

The matter passed unanimously, 6-0, with five members of the 11-member board not physically present, though one joined by video.

Today’s meeting was in response to the United Teacher of New Orleans on Monday asking the the National Labor Relations Board to organize and supervise a secret vote of the faculty. This came two days after the board voted not to voluntarily recognize the union.

The United Teachers of Lusher is a subset of the United Teachers of New Orleans, which represented most teachers in the city before Hurricane Katrina.

The board immediately took up the resolution after its 8:30 a.m. meeting convened. Board Secretary Rachel Wisdom read it aloud before discussing, noting the public likely did not yet have a copy.

Members Blaine LeCesne, Rachel Wisdom, Andrea Armstrong, Carol Whelan, Ann Salzer, and Chunlin Leonhard were present. Reuben Teague listened in via video conference, though he couldn’t participate in the vote remotely.

“We want a fair process,” Wisdom said. “That’s what this is about.”

Leonhard said the resolution represented the board’s previous discussions.

LeCesne said the board’s intention was to support an environment free from an hostility or intimidation.

In an interview after the meeting, Wisdom, Armstrong and LeCesne said the board hasn’t met since Saturday. Asked by The Lens how the board arrived at a consensus opinion without meeting, LeCesne said the first version was drafted Monday and it “evolved.”  Wisdom said though that nothing was deliberated “like in an email chain or anything like that.”

But Armstrong did say board members saw the resolution prior to the meeting because they had to send it through their attorney.

Armstrong and LeCesne said each board member was familiar with each other’s position on the matter after the four-hour Saturday meeting.

The resolution was not released with the agenda when it was issued Tuesday.

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