Teacher maternity rights!

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As you all know, teachers care for the children of others selflessly day after day, and often times their own children get less of their time because of the dedication to changing the lives of their students. It is unfortunate that individuals who love and care so much for children cannot do so for their own children when growing their family without the fear that they will reach a financial pitfall because they chose to have a baby.

We are asking that you join us in pushing for the reformation of Louisiana’s Maternity Leave policy so that teachers can love their children just as much as they do their students without walking into financial ruin.

The state of Louisiana currently has a maternity leave policy where educators are afforded 6-12 weeks of job secured “extended sick leave” days, or a maternity leave. During this leave, teachers are paid 65% of their normal salary but only after they have used all of their accumulated sick days. Not only are teachers expected to survive on a fraction of their salary, but they are also left with no sick days at the end of their maternity leave. What does this mean for a new mom? It means that for the remainder of the school year, if she or her child(ren) get sick, she is docked a full day’s pay because of the absence and lack of sick days. The pressure of having a newborn, medical bills, and baby expenses, is made worse because the already limited salary that a teacher has is in jeopardy of being decreased at the first sign of a fever or runny nose.

It is refreshing to know that more respect is being shown towards women and the beautiful process of bearing and birthing another human. The United States Military and Wal-Mart are two notable organizations that have recently decided to give their female employees the proper respect in allowing them to have paid, nonchargeable maternity leaves. The US Military offers 12 weeks while Walmart allows 6-10 weeks. We commend our military, Walmart, and any other organization affording women with the proper maternity rights. We ask that Louisiana teachers are given the same courtesy.

It is our desire to see Louisiana teachers get a fully paid minimum 6 week maternity leave that does not force them to deplete their balance of sick days. Please join us in showing teachers that their service to the children of Louisiana is important in both their classrooms and their own homes.

Signed, Norma Marcantel, Jenna Langlinais, Catherine Hartweck, and Breyone Carter