UTLA News: UTLA-LAUSD reach Tentative Agreement

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Flexible work day, no mandated live video instruction, limits on PD, protection of compensation, and more

• TOMORROW AT 10:30 AM on FACEBOOK: Comprehensive walk-through of all elements of the agreement. Follow along with agreement in front of you. Tune in on Facebook.•

After weeks of bargaining — including 30 hours over the past three days —the UTLA Bargaining Team has reached a tentative agreement with the district on the implementation of distance learning for the remainder of the school year. 
The agreement reflects the extraordinary times we are in, when educators are doing a complete reset of our practice while dealing with the stress and uncertainty of a global pandemic that has upended our lives. Our focus is on supporting our students and delivering instruction as equitably as possible given the extreme circumstances we are in and the needs of our own families and loved ones.

Most critically, the agreement creates a flexible work day, prohibits the requiring of live video for instruction, puts parameters on excessive PD, and respects pedagogical discretion. 

It goes without saying that no distance learning model can ever replace our physical schools. Our schools are where students learn, where they are supported by caring adults who address their social and emotional needs, and where many of them get their most reliable meal of the day. We look forward to the day when we can reopen our classrooms and office doors and reconnect with our school community.
Tomorrow morning, the UTLA Board of Directors will meet to discuss the agreement and vote on its ratification. The main elements of the agreement are below.Some elements (for example, no loss of salary and healthcare) have been previously announced. The full agreement can be read here.


• Educators will have no loss of regular pay or benefits during the school closure. 

• All contractual differentials will be paid for the second semester of the 2019-20 school year.

• Teachers will continue to receive auxiliary pay based on performing duties virtually or otherwise.

• National Board Certified Teachers will continue to receive the 7.5% differential by conducting distance learning. For the other 7.5%, NBCTs not able to reach the 92 hours this year will receive a portion of the 7.5% equal to the percentage of NBC hours already accumulated and can make up the difference for the remaining portion of the 7.5% differential in the 2020-21 school year.


• The work day for all UTLA members is flexible and should total on average 240 minutes. Planning, office hours, required professional development, faculty, department and grade level meetings all count toward the 240 minutes.

• To provide students and parents with consistency and to avoid scheduling conflicts, teachers shall create, share, and follow a regular weekly schedule of instruction, student support, and three office hours per week.

• Members can be required to participate in only one one-hour faculty meeting, grade level meeting, or department meeting per week, to be held during the contractual workday.


• If the steps of the evaluation process up to and including the formal observation were completed before March 13, the administrator will issue the final evaluation. If the steps of the evaluation process were not completed to that stage by March 13, the employee will be re-rostered for evaluation for the 2020-2021 school year unless mutually agreed upon by both parties. 


• In recognition of the gap in home learning resources, students will be “held harmless” and will not receive a lesser grade than their grade as of March 13.

• Teachers have the discretion to give students a higher grade. 

• State and district assessments scheduled for after March 13 have been suspended.


• Required PD will be limited to distance learning strategies and use of technology during the month of April. 

• Any required PD must be no longer than one hour and will take the place of any faculty/department/grade level meeting scheduled for the same week.

• LAUSD will offer optional training in using live video for instruction.


• The use of live video lessons is encouraged but not mandatory. Other engagement options include recorded video, live audio, recorded audio, and written guidance.

• Teachers will provide distance learning, with some combination of screen time, homework, reading, and related activities based on the pedagogical discretion of each educator.

• Teachers who do not have personal equipment (e.g., laptop) for distance learning or contacting parents and students shall make a request to their site administrator or supervisor.


• As with classroom teachers, the work day for HHS staff should total on average 240 minutes.

• To provide students and parents with consistency and avoid scheduling conflicts, UTLA members who are not teachers will create, share, and follow a regular weekly schedule of services and office hours per week. 

• Psychiatric Social Workers, Pupil Services Attendance Counselors, School Psychologists, and Counselors will provide appointments and work with students virtually or by phone, after the district issues guidelines for one-on-one student engagement. 

• Speech and Language Pathologists (SLP) and Designated Instructional Services (DIS) will provide support, which may include a combination of direct services, collaboration, and/or consultation. Appointments scheduled can be conducted virtually or by phone, after the district issues guidelines for one-on-one student engagement.

• Home visits by UTLA members, including HHS staff, are voluntary.

There are still many questions regarding Special Education, and we are working with other unions in the state to demand clearer guidelines from the state and federal government and support for students with IEPs. 

• UTLA and LAUSD will continue to discuss how to provide equitable and appropriate education for students with disabilities and immediately implement any clear guidelines regarding IEPs that come from the state or federal government. 

• Resource Specialist Teachers (RSTs) and Inclusion Teachers will work collaboratively with core content teachers to adapt lessons according to the student’s IEP.

• Special Education teachers of students with moderate to severe disabilities will provide continuity of learning through a variety of distance learning resources as appropriate so that students with moderate to severe disabilities have access to the same learning opportunities as other students, to the extent practical. 

• Absent a waiver of IDEA laws and regulations, the district acknowledges the need for flexibility in the service delivery module during the school closures. LAUSD and UTLA agree to ensure that student IEPs are implemented to the maximum extent possible.


• Substitutes will be compensated during the district closure based on the current work year pattern. Compensation will range from 3 to 6 hours per day. 

• Substitutes who were scheduled to work or had assignments in SmartFind will be compensated for the days they were scheduled to work or for 3 to 6 hours per day—whichever is greater.

• Substitutes on long-term assignments who are currently earning the extended rate will continue to receive the extended rate.

• Substitutes who are able to work will accept assignments from the district

• Substitutes who are currently enrolled in healthcare will maintain their benefits to the end of the plan year on August 31.

This agreement expires on June 30, 2020, or the opening of schools, whichever happens first. In addition to this agreement, we encourage you to continue to refer to our letter about misguided directives to push back against unreasonable requests by administrators.

LINK: UTLA-LAUSD Agreement on School Closures