1/17/2019: Los Angeles Unified and UTLA Resume Negotiations
Today, for the first time since last Friday, we met with UTLA as they have returned to contract negotiations.
We are back in contract negotiations and thank Mayor Garcetti for arranging these discussions. We need to resolve this as soon as possible to get our kids back in school and educators back in the classroom.
Since this strike has started, Los Angeles Unified has lost about $100 million in funding which should have been invested in the classroom. Our students are missing out on the opportunity to learn. Families count on us to keep their children safe and cared for, so they can continue to work to provide for their families. We need to end this strike now.
Public education is the ultimate labor-management collaboration. We invest every dollar we receive from the state in people in schools who do the work. And those who do the work need to have a stronger voice in how the work is done.
This is an historic moment in Los Angeles as many more people are engaged in the conversation about the importance of public education. We need smaller class sizes, more support for our students and educators, including more nurses, counselors and librarians in our schools. We hope this passion and commitment our community is expressing will continue as we work together for more funding in Sacramento, where 90% of our funding comes from.
We are extremely disappointed that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has rejected Los Angeles Unified’s revised offer without proposing any counter offer. UTLA has refused to continue contract negotiations. More than 48 hours remain until Monday when UTLA plans to strike, and we implore UTLA to reconsider. A strike will harm the students, families and communities we serve, and we have a responsibility to resolve the situation without a strike.
Today, Los Angeles Unified presented United Teachers Los Angeles with a new offer to provide more support for students and teachers, and to avert a strike. The offer would add nearly 1,200 more educators – teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians – in schools, reducing class size in thousands of classrooms.
“Our commitment to our families is to make sure all of the money we have is being spent in schools. We are doing that,” said Superintendent Austin Beutner. “We want to avoid a strike, which will hurt the students and families we serve. We hope UTLA leadership will reconsider its demands, which it knows Los Angeles Unified cannot meet.”
Los Angeles Unified is counting on the increase in funding for education proposed by Governor Newsom in his state budget on January 10, 2019. Both the Governor’s budget proposal and Los Angeles Unified’s new offer is a testament to the shared commitment to public education.
Los Angeles County is also proposing to provide additional funding to increase mental health and nursing services in elementary schools across Los Angeles Unified.
Los Angeles Unified’s new offer builds on the offer the District made on Monday, January 7, and consists of the following:
$130 million to add almost 1,200 more educators in schools
- Significantly reduce class size and ensure no increase in any class size
- Reduce class size by two students in all middle schools
- Reduce class size by two students in all high schools
- Cap class size in Grades 4-6, not to exceed 35 students
- Reduce all middle and high school math and English language classes to 39 or fewer students
- Cap class size at 32 students at 75 of the highest-need elementary schools
- Cap class size at 34 at 15 of the highest-need middle schools
- Increase Nurses, Counselors and Librarians at all schools
- Provide nursing services each school day at every elementary school
- Add one additional academic counselor at each comprehensive high school
- Provide library services at every middle school
6% Salary Increase
- A 6% raise with no contingencies
- No additional work requirements or professional development to receive the raise
- Back pay for the 2017-2018 school year
- No changes to health benefits for current employees
Los Angeles Unified will do everything it can to avert a strike. Ultimately, only UTLA can call a strike. UTLA’s contract demands have remained essentially unchanged since April 2017, and those demands would bankrupt Los Angeles Unified.
Every independent expert who has reviewed Los Angeles Unified’s finances agrees the District has serious budget issues. On Wednesday, January 9, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the state regulator that oversees Los Angeles Unified, appointed a team of financial experts to work with the District on its financial issues. The County expressed “great alarm and concern with the rapid deterioration of the District’s (financial position).”
All experts have confirmed: Los Angeles Unified simply does not have enough money to meet all of UTLA’s demands.
“We remain committed to working to avoid a strike which will harm the students and families we serve,” said Board President Mónica García. “Our latest offer is the best we can do and includes the additional funding from the State and County. It’s time to resolve this.”
Read more about Los Angeles Unified’s offer and the Status of Contract Negotiations.
Numerous voices across the community and from all walks of life have raised serious concerns about the education of students in the event of a strike and have encouraged Los Angeles Unified and UTLA to continue working together to find a solution.
“The bigger question, though, is what the union’s goal is, and why it was so eager to set a strike date before sitting down with the fact-finder’s report and trying to hammer out a reasonable bargain. The district has nothing to gain from a strike; parents fear it, and a walkout of even a couple of weeks could be devastating to students.”
Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
“Let’s never forget the impact of a potential strike on Los Angeles’ most vulnerable students. Students who live in poverty and who are already behind will spend days or weeks not learning in the classroom.”
Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education for President Barack Obama
“As UTLA continues to march relentlessly toward a strike, I know the issues are real. I’ve lived them. But the only path to solve them is to collaborate. A strike will not solve anything. UTLA should allow its members to vote again on such an important decision as they did in 1989. And they should make sure its members have all the facts of what LA Unified is offering.”
Dr. Roberta Benjamin Edwards, former teacher and retired administrator at Los Angeles Unified
LA School Report
“What’s the best course of action? Well, a state-appointed factfinding panel evaluated the union and the district’s contract proposals. It also evaluated the school districts books. Its recommendation: The teachers union should accept the district’s offer of a 6 percent pay raise. I strongly agree.”
Areva Martin, Esq., President and Co-Founder of Special Needs Network
Los Angeles Sentinel
“As we get closer to the possibility of a strike by the teachers of the L.A. Unified School District, I want to speak up on behalf of these working families and immigrant families — because they will feel it acutely if teachers walk out.”
Gloria Molina, former Los Angeles County Supervisor
Los Angeles Times
Additional Community Voices can be found here.
In November, the state of California appointed an independent, neutral Fact Finder to help resolve contract issues. His recent report confirmed that a 6% raise is reasonable. UTLA leadership’s own appointee to the Fact Finding Panel agreed, stating in December, “I concur with Chair Weinberg’s recommendation regarding the District’s salary proposal with respect to the compensation increase of 3% for 2017- 2018 and 3% for 2018-2019.”
The State of California Public Employment Relations Board issued a complaint against United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) for refusing to bargain in good faith. In the report, the state board said that UTLA has declined to meet and negotiate for more than a year and that several of its contract demands are unlawful.
This Los Angeles Unified Family Resource Guide provides information to help families and communities prepare for a potential strike.
Los Angeles Unified is doing everything possible to ensure every student has access to a safe, clean and supportive learning environment.
This Los Angeles Unified Family Resource Guide provides information to help families and communities prepare for a potential strike. L.A. Unified is doing everything possible to ensure every student has access to a safe, clean and supportive learning environment.
“I came to Los Angeles Unified to help do the work. I am a product of public schools, and I wouldn’t be here today, but for my great public education. I have committed myself to making sure children in our community have the same opportunities I was provided with. The best opportunity I was ever given was a great public education.”
- Superintendent Austin Beutner
A pathway to prevent a strike
Los Angeles Times Opinion Editorial
September 25, 2018
Speech to Community Leaders
Sept. 13, 2018
First Day on the Job
Aug. 14, 2018
Annual Administrator's Address for Los Angeles Unified
Aug. 10, 2018
Unit A - LASPA (School Police)
Negotiations with Unit A began on February 27, 2018 and are ongoing. The parties last met on August 23, 2018. The next scheduled date for negotiations is September 20, 2018.
Unit H - LASPMA (Sergeants and Lieutenants)
Negotiations with Unit H began on May 2, 2018 and are ongoing. The parties last met on August 22, 2018. The next scheduled date for negotiations is September 12, 2018.
Unit E - Trades Council (Crafts)
Negotiations with Unit E began on October 11, 2017 and are ongoing. The parties last met on August 27, 2018. The next scheduled date for negotiations is September 13, 2018.
Unit S - Teamsters (Classified Supervisors)
- Significantly reduce class size and ensure no increase in any class size