Teacher unions support members cut from Birmingham City Schools - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Teacher unions support members cut from Birmingham City Schools

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Many teacher unions are reaching out to members affected by the Birmingham Board of Education cuts and changes. They had to deliver the news to some members who didn't know they would be out of a job.

The President of the American Federation of Teachers says they're already in the process of talking with an attorney. And the Alabama Education Association spokesperson says its legal department will review every member's case. And if rights are violated, legal action will be taken.

"We just knew for sure they would listen to our voices." Like the children, Tracey Weaver works with at Phillips Academy. "That light goes off and they get it." But despite her love of being a Para-Educator, Weaver's time with the Birmingham School System is nearly over after 11 years of service. "Myself and my father are on the list, therefore we were both cut."

A family.. now unsure, what to do. The American Federation of Teachers says more than half of the employees affected are Para-Educators, like Weaver. She works with special needs children. "There's gonna be that void where you have people who have been trained for those positions to help those children, you just can't fill that particular void with anyone."

AFT President, Richard Franklin, says it's a sad day for Birmingham City Schools. "Our role is to make sure this was done fairly, which in our case, we know of situations where it wasn't." Franklin says legal action is possible because there are some discrepancies. Some employees are listed with the wrong job title. "We've been trying to work with the state and school system so when we sue they won't be able to say we didn't give every opportunity to correct the situation."

AFT has already started helping members find a new future, like Weaver. "We're not in it for the pay, we're in it cause we have a passion. We love the kids and we know we are making a difference."

While Franklin says he understands cuts were needed, they were told the classroom would not be affected and students will head back to those classrooms on August 20th.