Teachers at International High School of New Orleans voted in favor of a union on Friday.
Employees gathered behind closed doors to hear the final count. Some wore buttons that said, simply, yes. Others wore T-shirts with bold text on the back: If you can read, thank a teacher. If you cannot, thank a teacher's union.
In the end, teachers and paraprofessionals approved the union 26-18. The National Labor Relations Board oversaw the vote.
Cole Mills teaches algebra and helped organize the union. "We lose a lot of teachers every year," Mills said. "And I know that we need stability. We need job security to improve the school for the students. It's difficult to have the kind of success we want for our students with the kind of turnover we have."
International High School is the first New Orleans charter to vote in favor of a union. The boards at Morris Jeff and Ben Franklin High School voluntarily recognized their unions. And last week, teachers at Lusher Charter School voted against recognition.
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