Saturday, September 07, 2013


Huffington Post from Los Angeles Daily News  |  By Barbara Jones |

9/6/2013 1:35 pm EDT  ::  The teachers union filed unfair labor practice complaints Thursday against Los Angeles Unified, claiming the district improperly reassigned 12 teachers from their posts at two schools because of their union activity on campus.

The complaints filed by United Teachers Los Angeles accuse the district of retaliating against one teacher at City of Angels Independent Study School in South LA, and 11 others at Crenshaw High, which was reconstituted this year into three magnet schools because of chronically low test scores and dismal graduation rates.

"They were exiled from their schools -- not for the issue of wages and hours -- but because they spoke up about the rights of parents to be involved in the governance of schools," UTLA President Warren Fletcher said in a phone interview.

A spokeswoman said the school district had no comment on the complaint, which was filed with the Public Employment Relations Board.

One complaint involves Jeff Pott, the UTLA chapter chair at City of Angels, who was displaced from the school after 12 years and assigned to a position as a substitute teacher. The complaint alleges that Pott was removed because he'd filed as many as 20 grievances on behalf of other teachers following the appointment of a new principal in January 2012.

"He was told that he had created an 'unhealthy, unproductive and non-collegial environmental' and his removal was in the 'best interest of the educational program'," the complaint said.

The other complaint details accusations made by a dozen former teachers at Crenshaw High, who were among the 33 whose applications to remain at the school were rejected when the campus was reconstituted by the district. They say they were displaced from their jobs because they opposed or raised concerns about the plan.

"The non-transparent selection process and disparaging statements made by LAUSD officials regarding union activity at Crenshaw undeniably show that UTLA members were unlawfully retaliated against for their union activity," the complaint said.

According to the complaint, five of the former Crenshaw teachers have been picked up by other schools, although their new jobs require longer commutes and changes in the types of classes they caught.

The six other former Crenshaw teachers have been unable to find a posting at another school. While they continue to receive their salary, some have lost the stipends they received for extracurricular activities.

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