'Initiative for the Schools L.A. Students Deserve'

Dear UTLA Member,

A petition was submitted in January to the UTLA President titled Initiative for the Schools LA Students Deserve.

The text of the initiative is available below, and will be published in the upcoming issue of United Teacher.

Signatures were delivered to UTLA on February 20, 2013. The UTLA membership department has completed verification of membership status on the signatures received relative to the above cited initiative.

We have received 1,130 valid signatures, which complies with the requirement of the UTLA Constitution for the initiative to be placed before the membership for a vote.  

The initiative will be placed before the membership for a vote based on the timeline indicated at the Board of Directors meeting of February 27, 2013. Voting packets will be distributed at the March 20 Area Meeting. Voting will take place at school sites and at UTLA Tuesday, April 2 through Wednesday, April 10. Ballots will be counted Thursday, April 11, and results will be immediately announced.

If, after reviewing the initiative, you wish to submit a pro or con statement, the deadline is Monday, March 11 at 4 p.m. The suggested word count for best readability is from 300 to 350 words.

Statements must be submitted to Kim Turner in the Communications Department at kturner@utla.net, or fax to (213) 487-3319. To confirm receipt, call (213) 368-6252.

View the "Pro and Con" statements here

Whereas, LAUSD has devastated schools and school communities over the past several years with class size increases, layoffs of teachers, librarians, nurses, and support personnel, top-down reconstitutions, and budget cuts that negatively impact students.

Whereas, UTLA has neither mobilized, nor organized its own membership, nor has it reached out to build alliances with community forces in a meaningful and consistent way to combat these attacks from LAUSD and promote alternatives.

Whereas, teachers’ unions in other cities have built strong campaigns for better schools alongside school communities by mobilizing the membership and fighting for a series of critical issues as opposed to the current UTLA practice of negotiating one issue at a time without activating our members, weakening and dividing us.

Be it therefore resolved that UTLA be a force for positive school change by actively collaborating with parents, students, school communities and other educational allies and advocates to create a city-wide campaign on the 'Initiative for the Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve.' UTLA area leadership will participate in the planning and implementation of the campaign.

Further, UTLA will begin a strategy of negotiations with the district on the collective bargaining agreement focusing on a set of issues that matter to teachers and communities, as opposed to the current strategy of opening negotiations around only one issue at a time. These demands should include:

  • Reduced class sizes
  • Full staffing of our schools
  • Restored funding of Adult and Early Childhood Education
  • Equity and access for all students
  • Safe and clean schools
  • Better pay for all school employees
  • Stop to excessive unnecessary student testing and VAM/AGT use
  • End reconstitution and school giveaways

Further, UTLA will allocate staff and other resources to organize this campaign. This could include steps like the creation of an organizing department and a research department. This reorganization will strengthen UTLA through member engagement and mobilization and will not negatively impact continued contract enforcement.

Finally, UTLA will plan a series of escalating actions, including preparing to strike if necessary, to fight for the demands of the campaign. The first action will take place before the end of the 2012-13 school year to protest issuance of layoff notices, further class size increases, and school destabilization.

Update: Teacher Evaluation Ratification Agreement

To find out if your school site has cast valid ballots in the
January 2013 Teacher Evaluation Ratification Agreement, 
click here

For questions, please contact UTLA Secretary at (213) 368-6244 or email webmaster@utla.net