FAQs-Tentative-Agreement-September-2021

 

HEALTH & SAFETY

 

What is the purpose of the new quarantine checklist?

By far the biggest frustrations reported by UTLA members and LAUSD families have come from inconsistencies or perceived inconsistencies with the quarantine protocol. Educators and families have a right to know exactly what is being done when there is a positive case on campus, and we need a concrete way to hold administration accountable to the protocol. That is what the checklist is for: clarity and accountability. The checklist can now be enforced as an agreement between UTLA and LAUSD, and a tool for the COVID Safety Compliance Task Force.

 

Do the health and safety measures apply to all UTLA members,  including itinerants and those working at multiple schools?

Yes. All of the health and safety requirements pertain to all UTLA bargaining unit members.  We recognize that for those members at multiple schools, notification about positive cases can be challenging. Itinerants may  need to communicate with  your school site administrator, classroom teachers, and COVID-19 task force regarding the specific students you work with so that you are notified when there are positive or quarantined students. 

 

Why was it important to extend masking, testing, and ventilation protocols?

Under the terms of the previous agreement, masking, testing, and ventilation requirements in LAUSD schools could have been repealed as early as this month. With COVID-19 still very much with us, now is not the time — as a few other school districts are doing — to loosen masking requirements or stop regular testing. Since Day One of the pandemic, UTLA educators have prioritized health and safety, and we take pride in continuing to lead on issues of safety in our schools.

 

Why is there a provision to revisit masking, testing, and ventilation protocols after December 1?

This allows us — in reflection of constantly changing pandemic circumstances — to revisit the protocols if COVID infection rates get demonstrably worse or better.

 

Is LAUSD getting rid of Daily Pass?

No. It is important that we have a tool like the Daily Pass to confirm compliance with COVID-19 testing and symptom screening, as well as the new vaccination requirements. However, should a comparable and possibly better or more effective tool become available, our agreement simply allows the district to switch over to that system instead — but the key functions that the Daily Pass provides must be maintained. We are not aware of any plan to switch tools at this time. 

 

 

CONTINUITY OF LEARNING

 

Why are we providing Zoom video streaming from our classroom to quarantined students?

We have been advocating for some of the strongest safety, testing, and quarantine protocols in the country, which will result in some students having to stay home and be quarantined for the safety of the rest of the school community. We have an obligation as educators to help make sure that those students stay connected to the class so that they can jump right back in when they return. Of course this pandemic is not the fault of educators or students, but it is a pandemic, and this is one way we can help minimize the impact on students in our classrooms.

 

Will the district be installing a camera in the corner of my classroom?

No. When the teacher and students are at school, but one or more students in the class are quarantining, the teacher can choose whether to use a polycam or laptop to provide Zoom access to the classroom. To preserve quality of instruction, the teacher has sole discretion regarding the amount of interaction with the quarantined students during livestreaming. Additionally, the district, parents, and students are not allowed to record the livestream feed or virtual instruction without teacher permission. Teachers will not be held responsible for any technology problems that hinder or prevent livestream access, and the teacher can request any additional technology needed to provide a livestream for quarantining students.

 

Does video streaming access mean simultaneous teaching?

No. The agreement requires that educators provide video streaming access to the classroom. The amount of engagement with students who are streaming the class is at the discretion of the educator.

 

Will we be required to provide Zoom video streaming for all absences?

No, this practice is only for COVID-19 quarantines and would not apply to other types of absences, whether those absences are related to illness or other reasons. 

 

 

CITY OF ANGELS PROGRAM

 

What’s behind the City of Angels staffing language?

The City of Angels program is a lifeline for families whose children cannot attend physical school during the pandemic and for our own members who have healthcare issues. During the weeks leading up to the first day of school, about 2,000 families had expressed interest in City of Angels online school. Since then, the district has more than 20,000 students enrolled in the program. The district essentially built the largest single school in its history, within the span of about a month. Right now, the City of Angels program has more than 300 openings for educators, and we have to take steps to make City of Angels a viable and fully staffed learning program. 

 

I have dependent care issues. Am I eligible to volunteer for City of Angels?

Yes. Every member will have the option of volunteering for a temporary assignment to the City of Angels program. Many of our members have to juggle their jobs with dependent care issues or other personal issues that are not traditionally addressed in the Reasonable Accommodation process. With this agreement, you will be able to volunteer for a remote teaching position even if you had not been eligible for a Reasonable Accommodation previously.

 

 

Could the City of Angels agreement lead to combo classes in elementary schools?

Yes, it’s possible. Combo classes are never desirable but we have to acknowledge the absolute need to support the City of Angels program and make it a viable alternative for families and staff who need it. In accordance with our June sideletter, members required to teach elementary combo classes in 2021-2022 will receive a $1,200 stipend.

 

How will staffing City of Angeles also help other schools?

Fully staffing City of Angels will also relieve many substitute teachers, who have been managing unfilled teaching positions within City of Angels. By staffing this program, we can solve the problem of substitute teachers not being available to cover classes at school sites. Most importantly, we want every student to have the opportunity for a positive learning experience.

 

 

EVALUATIONS

 

How does the agreement affect me if I am scheduled to be evaluated this year?

If you are in the evaluation process and have initial planning sheets due, you must submit them as scheduled because this agreement must first be ratified by UTLA members and the LAUSD Board of Education before it goes into effect. Upon ratification of the agreement, any permanent UTLA bargaining unit member who has not received a below standard evaluation in the past five years will have their evaluation suspended for the 2021-22 school year. 

 

COMPENSATION

 

Is the pay raise retroactive?

Yes, it is retroactive to July 1, 2021.

 

When will we see the pay increase reflected on our checks?

The Tentative Agreement must first be approved by UTLA members and the LAUSD School Board, and then it takes some time for LAUSD payroll to process the changes. Updates will be provided. 

 

How do the pay raise and two stipends add up as far as a percentage of salary?

The agreement includes a 5% ongoing raise, in addition to what will end up being the equivalent of a 3% to 4% one-time stipend for most of our members. As one example, for employees earning $60,000, the combined compensation increase for this school year is 5% ongoing + 4.12% one-time stipend, or more than 9% combined.

 

Why is there a special stipend for school nurses?

The shortage of school nurses is at crisis proportions because nurses can get paid significantly more in healthcare settings outside of LAUSD. We need to do all we can to retain every school nurse, most of whom have been working in person at school sites and testing sites since December 2020.

 

Do the pay increases and stipends apply to substitute educators?

Yes. The 5% pay increase applies to all UTLA bargaining unit members, including substitutes. The stipends for substitutes will be prorated depending on hours worked.

 

CONTRACT CAMPAIGN 2022

 

When will we be negotiating for the full contract and can bargain on class size, staffing, special education, and more?

Our full contract expires in June 2022, and we want our bargaining team to be at the table with a full set of proposals and the full support of 34,000 UTLA members months before then.  That is why we are preparing now.

 

We have a three step process to get organized and united before we make our first proposals.

 

  1. Chapter Chairs are organizing member meetings in every school / chapter to collectively identify issues for negotiations while at the same time we will be holding town halls with parents and community organizations to get their input. 
  2. The UTLA Board of Directors will use that feedback to develop a draft bargaining platform.
  3.  All members will vote on the proposed bargaining platform before we start negotiations with LAUSD. 

 

At the same time we are getting organized in every school and chapter. This month we are focused on building our Chapter Action Teams in every school to make sure that we have a strong organizing and communication structure that involves every member of the union in our campaign.