Response to LAUSD Counter Proposals

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Late last night, UTLA and LAUSD had their 5th and last bargaining session of the current school year. During this four-hour-long discussion, LAUSD listened as educators, parents, students, and community members reviewed aspirational, yet achievable and essential, proposals to take our school communities Beyond Recovery.

In response, the district made their first proposals since bargaining started, which included a rejection of any reduction in the number of standardized tests students are subjected to, a rejection of any improvements to the working conditions of the Adult education teachers who play a pivotal role in training workers for our local economy, and a union-busting proposal to limit and prevent all concerted actions by UTLA, including a prohibition on sympathy strikes in support of other underpaid and underappreciated education workers. 

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Statement from Georgia Flowers Lee, a Special Education Teacher at Saturn Elementary School and Bargaining Team Member on Behalf of United Teachers Los Angeles 

“My fellow teachers, counselors and school support staff have worked tirelessly with students and families to come up with a recovery platform that not only benefits educators, but also prioritizes the needs of our students and their communities. We understand the challenges facing our students and the concrete steps that our district can take to make sure all students thrive and learn at every school across Los Angeles. 

We are fighting for our students to have access to safe and secure housing, smaller class sizes, improved mental health services, and actual people on their campuses instead of vacancies. All the district seems interested in is the continued exploitation of Adult Ed teachers who spend long evenings working with students and the continued exploitation of students through relentless standardized testing at the expense of instructional time.

It is especially galling that in response to hours of testimony and in depth policy proposals from teachers, counselors, support staff, parents and students, the district has refused to respond to our solutions, but instead is demanding that workers give up their power in exchange for nothing. The disconnect between the district’s desire to disempower workers by barring them from their right to walk off the job, versus the researched solutions presented by teachers, counselors, school support staff, parents and students to improve learning for every child, is glaringly obvious. 

Let’s be clear, making the decision to not be with our students and go on strike is the last thing any teacher wants to do—but we will not bargain away our power, especially in the face of a school district unwilling to build a better district for our students. 

LAUSD’s cold response to our proposals proves they are disconnected from the current realities teachers and students are facing in the classroom. And their disingenuous proposal is further evidence of the need for educators to implement changes we know will not just benefit us, but our students and communities as well. 

We strongly urge LAUSD to rectify this situation, bargain in good faith, and accept the Beyond Recovery platform we’ve created alongside parents, students, and community members.”