President's Perspective
The healthcare victory is our launching pad

While many California Democrats will say publicly that they oppose Janus, privatizers like Antonio Villaraigosa and his longtime colleague Marshall Tuck — both running for state office in 2018 — will do the bidding of their financial backers and secretly push to undermine teacher unions and our right to collectively bargain.

President's Perspective
Our connections with each other make us strong

We don’t have to look too far back into 2017 to be reminded of the importance of our connections with each other, in schools and across schools, and the importance of our union to all of us. Very early in the morning on Tuesday, December 5, we started getting calls and texts from members who were at schools near the Creek fire in Sylmar and from even more schools that were affected dramatically by the air-quality issues resulting from the fire. 

President's Perspective
Organizing and actions work

How dare the district spend two years threatening our healthcare! How dare LAUSD threaten to punish educators for LAUSD’s financial dilemmas when the district has done little over the past few years to address California being 46th out of 50 states in per-pupil funding.

President's Perspective
Our healthcare, our students, our schools, our future

We live in trying times. We have witnessed tremendous natural disasters, surely exacerbated by global warming, and incredible human violence, which tears at our souls. With each passing day, the importance of schools is reemphasized, the importance of engaging young people and helping to instill confidence in navigating a complicated world.

President's Perspective
Schools LA Students Deserve campaign: Unapologetic about what students, educators need

At the core of UTLA’s strategic plan is a very basic concept: If public education is to survive and thrive in Los Angeles, it is time for us to call the question on why our schools are being starved. It is simply not acceptable that California, as the fifth largest economy in the world, stands at 46th among the states in per-pupil funding.

President's Perspective
Gearing up for an epic year

Summer is an essential time for relaxing and recharging—but the reality is that many UTLA members find ways to keep working. From teaching summer school to retooling lesson plans or taking learning vacations at historic sites, the whole “summers off” thing may be an outdated concept.

President's Perspective
Resilience, Hope, Movement

Educators are wonderful, you are wonderful. Congratulations on completing another academic year. Every year that you finish, you have touched that many more lives, have shaped the future more indelibly, and have strengthened our profession for the long-term through your accomplishments.

President's Perspective
Three Walks to Victory

I am asking you to pause your reading of the UNITED TEACHER for five minutes right now and sign up for three precinct-walking shifts in the School Board election campaign. Quite simply, if we all walk three shifts, we will win on May 16. Protecting our health benefits and winning a contract for the Schools LA Students Deserve depends on us electing Steve Zimmer and Imelda Padilla to the LAUSD School Board.

President's Perspective
UTLA’s Modus Operandi: Coalition Building for Power

It was an inspiring scene in front of Arminta Street Elementary School in the East San Fernando Valley on March 16. I was marching and chanting with Arminta Street teacher Debbie Schneider-Solis, her co-workers, and a great group of Arminta parents to protest a potential Prop. 39 co-location by Celerity charter.

President's Perspective
The Fight of our Lives

February 10 marked the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Build the Future, Fund the Fight (BFFF) initiative. Last year, I spent a lot of time in our BFFF phone-banking room, often with member stalwarts like Vince Fazzi, a health and human services leader. Calling our members, having great dialogues about the need for the dues increase, full merger, and Group Legal Services, in support of the strategic plan, seems like only yesterday.