LA TEACHERS STRIKE: Teachers union rejects LAUSD's new offer

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Saturday, January 12, 2019
LA TEACHERS STRIKE: UTLA rejects LAUSD's revised offer
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A teachers strike scheduled to begin Monday appears imminent after United Teachers Los Angeles on Friday rejected a revised offer by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A teachers strike scheduled to begin Monday appears imminent after United Teachers Los Angeles on Friday declared an impasse over a revised offer by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

LAUSD's new offer to UTLA included a $130 million investment in 2019-2020, which the district said would have added 1,200 more educators and reduced class sizes in middle and high schools by two.

At a 5 p.m. press conference, the union said the offer simply isn't good enough.

"There's a variety of reasons why the proposal today was unacceptable," said Alex Caputo-Pearl, UTLA president. "Raising class sizes is one of them. An unacceptable level of additional staffing is another reason why this is unacceptable, and the fact that even those new staff would be in for one year..."

The LAUSD released the following statement on Twitter, asking the teachers union to reconsider: "We are extremely disappointed that UTLA has rejected @LASchools revised offer without proposing any counter offer. UTLA has refused to continue contract negotiations. More than 48 hours remain until Monday when UTLA plans to strike, and we implore UTLA to reconsider."

The union said that if the district comes forward with a substantially different proposal, it's willing to look at it before Monday.

Until then, the union is asking its 30,000 teachers to be ready to strike on Monday. It will be the first since 1989 and would affect 600,000 students.

MORE: Guide for LAUSD parents should a strike happen

The district and the teachers union are at odds over the size of a proposed raise, along with how much money should be spent to add support staff, reduce class sizes and other issues.

The UTLA wants a 6.5-percent raise that would take effect all at once and a year sooner.

It also says it wants "fully staffed'' schools with more nurses, librarians and counselors added to the payrolls, along with pledges to reduce class sizes.

LAUSD's new offer came after a significant funding boost by both the state and L.A. County, which Buetner said threw in another $10 million for school staffing.

See the offer's details below:

  • 6 percent raise and back pay for 2017-2018
  • Significant reduction in class sizes and more nurses, counselors, librarians in schools
  • Working group to address issues regarding charter schools
  • LA Unified offer exceeds the recommendations from the independent fact finder appointed by the state of California
  • State regulator (Los Angeles County Office of Education) has expressed great alarm and concern with the rapid deterioration of the district's financial position
  • 1,200 additional educators in schools, $130 million investment in 2019-2020
  • Significant reduction in class sizes

-Middle school by 2

-High school by 2

-Cap middle and high school English and math at 39

-No increase in any current class sizes

  • Provide library services at every middle school
  • Provide nursing services at elementary schools, five days a week
  • Add an additional academic counselor at each comprehensive high school

Buetner discussed the new proposal during a Friday afternoon press conference, during which he also announced that the district will officially ask Gov. Gavin Newsom to help resolve the situation.

"UTLA's proposals are unchanged since April of 2017. They know we cannot meet those demands. The county has said we're on the precipice, the county has said we cannot meet those demands, so we'd like the governor to step in, bring the parties together, keep us in a room, lock the door and throw away the key if he has to, so we can reach a resolution and avoid a strike," Buetner said.

The current collective bargaining agreement was set to expire on Sunday.