January 11, 2019News
Austin Beutner is a no show, bargains and lies to the media with a woefully inadequate proposal
LOS ANGELES — Today, Austin Beutner presented a bargaining proposal which permanently increases class sizes up to 39 in middle school, 46 in high school and would only allow increased staffing for one year, and not at all schools. He said ‘this is the best we can do,’ not to the UTLA bargaining team, but to the media, a few floors away from where he was expected in bargaining.
“The pattern of disrespect and insulting proposals is what we have come to expect from Beutner. Our students deserve more. Our educators deserve more, the city of LA deserves more, public education deserves more. We have not come this far to settle for so little,” said UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl.
The UTLA bargaining team, rather than hearing it in person, watched Beutner’s presentation over LAUSD’s Facebook live stream a few floors away. He was a no-show two of the three bargaining sessions this week. Beutner told that same room of reporters that he is ready to meet and bargain with UTLA 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
UTLA says Beutner’s new proposal is inadequate:
• Continues to tie salary increases to cutting the healthcare of new hires.
• Continues to propose raising class sizes permanently, as high as 39 in elementary and 46 in secondary.
• Continues to protect the district’s unilateral authority to raise class sizes even beyond their proposed caps of 39 and 46, protecting what section 1.5 currently lays out by replacing it with something worse.
• Proposes to create a section 1.5-like feature in special education, hurting our most vulnerable students by allowing unilateral increases to special education caseloads.
• Continues to reject anything but a district task force on charter co-locations, which are the point of the spear in the privatization movement. We’ve been there and done that with that task force.
• Continues to ignore the need for more adults in our schools by offering roughly one new person per school site for only one year. Moreover, most of the new positions would not be new hires, but just existing employees being shuffled into new positions.
• Continues to neglect bilingual ed, early ed, and adult ed.
United Teachers Los Angeles has been in contract negotiations with LAUSD for almost two years. In August, 98 percent of union members voted to authorize a strike. With class sizes that are too high and not enough resources in their classrooms and attacks to their profession, teachers are fighting for a profound reinvestment in Los Angeles schools.
“On Monday we will be ready to strike alongside our parents, students and communities. Beutner and those who seek to destroy public education will not be able to keep us from standing up to fight for what is right,” Caputo-Pearl said.