LA teachers union delays strike until Monday
- United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has postponed its strike date to Monday, Jan. 14, as a judge considers whether the union has a right to strike. “We do not want to bring confusion and chaos into an already fluid situation,” Gloria Martinez, the elementary vice president for UTLA, said in a press conference Wednesday.
- Meanwhile, the union and the district continued contract negotiations today while Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Austin Beutner and Board of Education President Monica Garcia were in Sacramento to advocate for more state funding for schools. “We are working hard to avert a strike,” Beutner said in a press release.
- On Tuesday, the board also approved a resolution directing Beutner to create a three-year “enterprise plan” for increasing revenue and enrollment in the district. The plan, due March 18, could include a parcel tax and school bond measures. “We recognize that Los Angeles Unified needs more resources, and this resolution confirms our commitment to work with families, labor partners, and the communities we serve to achieve this,” Beutner said in the press release.
Issues of dispute between the district and the union include class size, support staff members such as nurses, counselors and librarians, and the co-location of charter schools in district schools.
The district’s offer includes the hiring of 1,000 educators, but in the Wednesday press conference, Cecily Myart-Cruz, UTLA/NEA vice president, explained why that offer falls short for the union. “That’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to our students’ needs,” she said.
In preparation for next week’s possible strike, the district has relaxed requirements for volunteers to work in schools and the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County is offering free admission for students and will organize “grade-appropriate” activities for students.
Follow Linda Jacobson on Twitter