By Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1nV4Spw
UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl, left. LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy, right
Posted: 10/02/14, 8:19 AM PDT | Updated: 10/3/2014 :: After more than two months of stalled negotiations with Los Angeles Unified School District officials, leaders of the 35,000-member teachers union Thursday changed their pay demands to 10 percent this year.
While United Teachers Los Angeles had previously demanded pay hikes totaling 17.6 percent over the next two years, President Alex Caputo-Pearl said the union sought to secure a 10 percent hike this year and immediately open talks centered on increases in coming years.
The two sides met inside a room at union headquarters, surrounded by photographs from a demonstration earlier this week in which tens of thousands of educators wore red T-shirts in support of union demands for improved pay, and working and learning conditions, Caputo-Pearl said.
“That definitely set the tone in terms of the district recognizing we’re organizing and building power behind our demands,” Caputo-Pearl said. “I would say there was some positive dialogue that occurred in the session.”
The potential for a strike remains on the table.
In a statement, Los Angeles Unified officials said they were withholding comment until they have a chance to determine whether the proposals are feasible. The district’s standing offer provides for a 6.64 percent pay raise over the next 21 months and an immediate 2 percent bonus.
District officials introduced a proposal of their own design Thursday, calling for more parents and community members to sit on campus-based councils with teachers. The so-called Local School Leadership Councils oversee issues such as campus budgets and student schedules. Under LAUSD’s proposal, parent and community member would occupy half the seats on each council — currently one-third of members are parents or from the community, according to a district statement.
“This proposal assures clarity, consistency and coordination of effort and resources,” Chief Labor Negotiator Vivian Ekchian said.
Other union proposals called for class sizes from kindergarten through third grade to be capped at 26 students with an average of 24 pupils per class.
“What we’re trying to do is what parents and educators and students want to see, which is put out hard numbers and class size caps,” Caupto-Pearl said.
Union leaders additionally requested: a full-time nurse at every school, a librarian at each middle and high school, elementary school librarians two days per week and one college counselor at every high school.
In addition to wanting LAUSD to play a larger role in the governance of charter schools, UTLA asked that teachers of the publicly funded schools that operate with LAUSD’s permission but outside its direct control, have the same due process rights and ability to organize as their counterparts in traditional schools.
Also, charters schools would be required to file comprehensive reports each year, under the union’s request. Charters reporting a teacher turnover rate of greater than 15 percent, Caputo-Pearl said, should be automatically investigated, as it’s an indicator of poor management.
Lastly, UTLA sought to secure a $1,000 per year stipend for each teacher to buy classroom supplies that they had been paying for out-of-pocket, Caputo-Pearl said.
Superintendent John Deasy has previously said granting UTLA’s demand for a 17.6 percent raise would bring the district to bankruptcy, adding that his administration is doing everything possible to reduce class sizes and improve life inside classrooms with finite resources.
But Deasy’s future is uncertain, as school board members this week told attorneys to renegotiate the departure terms of his contract, according to district sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, because board members made the decision during a private meeting.
“….elementary school librarians two days per week?” Really? Elementary school librarians are represented by another union – one that would probably prefer to negotiate its own deal … and probably for five days a week!
- UTLA Bargaining Proposal Article XII-C: Public School Accountability
- UTLA Bargaining Proposal Article XIV: Salaries
- UTLA Bargaining Proposal Article XXIII: Class Size
- UTLA Bargaining Proposal Article XXIV: Student Discipline, Legal Support and Property Loss
- UTLA & LAUSD MOU: MiSiS
The main elements of UTLA’s proposal from today are below:
- 10% ongoing pay increase for 2014-2015
- Automatic re-openers on salary for 2015-2016, which means we start bargaining for another salary increase as soon as we reach an agreement for this year
- All members compensated at their hourly rate for all voluntary professional development or training
- All members receive an annual $1,000 stipend for supplies and support materials (since we spend so much money out of our own pockets on our classrooms and work sites)
- Exploration of feasibility of an early retirement incentive for interested members
- Class Sizes and Ratios for Support Services for 2015-2016
- Grades TK-3 – Average of 24, cap of 26
- Grades 4-8 – Average of 27, cap of 30
- Grades 9-12 – Average of 31, cap of 34
- PE – Cap of 50
- Full-time nurse at every school for five days per week
- 1,000 students to 1 ratio for PSA counselors
- 400 students to 1 ratio for secondary school counselors
- 1 college counselor for every high school
- Full-time teacher librarian assigned to every secondary school
- Teacher librarian assigned to every elementary school at least two days per week
- The daily equivalent of 1 student support services full-time equivalent at each elementary school, provided by an elementary school counselor, PSW, or school psychologist
Public School Accountability
(Proposed New Article in Contract, Applying to All Schools, Including Charters, Within the Jurisdictional Boundaries of LAUSD; Article Including, But Not Limited to) the following:
- Require Educational Impact and Community Impact reports as part of consideration of authorizing any new schools, co-locations, or school re-organizations (including LAUSD and charter)
- Support and protect the rights of educators to provide the highest quality education to LA students, and to exercise their responsibility to advocate for policies that are good for students, parents, and the profession (including LAUSD and charter)
- Require that employees have due process rights and the right to organize without administrative influence or intimidation in all publicly funded schools within LAUSD.
- Require an automatic investigation by the LAUSD Board if educator turn-over exceeds 15% at a school site between consecutive school years.
- Ensure parent voice in all schools (including LAUSD and charter)
- Require a Declaration of Parent Rights, including, at minimum, information on legal rights in the admissions process, no mandatory volunteerism, right to attend Board meetings, right to run for School Site Council, and right to choose a language program appropriate for their child.
- Ensure that all schools are held to the same standards of accountability, educational quality, equity, and transparency (LAUSD and charter).
- LAUSD Board has final approval authority for charter school board members.
- Charter school board members required to submit full financial disclosure reports and identify any potential conflicts of interest.
- Require a report identifying schools that serve a substantially lower percentage of minority students, students receiving free and reduced lunch, special education students, or ELL students than their neighboring schools.
- Mandatory annual report of student suspensions, expulsions, and dismissals from all schools.
- Cumulative records reported, and cumulative data collected, for any students who leave a school at any time during a school year.
Positive Behavior Intervention Support and Restorative Justice Committee
In continuing efforts to provide equity and access to students, form a committee consisting of educators, parents, students, community, and administrators to research, identify, advocate for, and monitor the following that are essential to successful implementation of PBIS and RJ programs – appropriate resources, staffing, and support services; quality, educator- and community-led professional development; best practices in curriculum and instruction that are consistent with PBIS and RJ; best practices in school structure that are consistent with PBIS and RJ; and, pathways for schools to pursue implementation of PBIS and RJ, with supports and identified demonstration schools to assist.
- Immediately suspend the gradebook component
- Fully compensate all members for all work performed outside her/his regular work year and regular work day to implement and utilize MISIS
- Suspend TGDC
- Form an advisory LAUSD Technology Committee to vet all technology projects