LOS ANGELES – On Monday, August 8, 2022, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), which represents over 34,000 employees, formally filed an Unfair Practice charge alleging the Los Angeles Unified School District violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (“EERA”). On April 22, 2022, LAUSD publicly announced “four additional days for accelerated academic opportunities,” without providing notice and an opportunity for the union to bargain as required by the EERA. Four days later, the district Board unanimously approved the extended calendar without negotiating with the union, and has failed to meaningfully engage the Union in negotiations on this subject since then. These four optional “Accelerated Days” are optional for all students and for all C-Basis employees—about 80% of UTLA members. The district chose to add these “Accelerated Days” without first consulting with parents, teachers or other school workers.
The district has overstepped legal boundaries by failing to include the tens of thousands of teachers, nurses, counselors, and support staff in determining the best way for the LAUSD community to manage post-COVID recovery. These optional days will cost the district an estimated $122 million. These funds could be better spent on programs proven to positively impact student learning including establishing smaller class sizes, hiring more counselors, psychiatric social workers and school psychologists and investing in teacher development.
The district also failed to respond appropriately to UTLA leadership who raised multiple practical concerns about the district’s proposal, which included questions on who would staff the proposed optional days, consequences for students who choose not to attend, and the impact on teachers’ performance evaluation for those who opt not to participate in this misuse of educational funding.
UTLA is calling on the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to promptly investigate these charges and have LAUSD immediately withdraw its four accelerated days and return to the status quo. That remedy would enable LAUSD to finally bargain in good faith over the amount and distribution of employee work days (voluntary and mandatory) and other consequential terms and conditions of employment before implementation. Regardless of the outcome, teachers will continue to fight to ensure the district respects their bargaining rights and that the district is held accountable for its arbitrary behavior.
Cecily Myart-Cruz, President of United Teachers Los Angeles said, “Over the past few years, educators and school support staff have been dealing with the physical and mental scars of the COVID pandemic and the devastating impacts housing and economic insecurity continue to have on students and their families. Educators are the ones in the classroom day to day, not Superintendent Carvalho, yet they are being left out of conversations on how to most effectively invest in student learning. Instead, the district has chosen to make hasty decisions that will have more negative consequences for both educators and students, while the contract for more than 30,000 employees has expired. We strongly urge LAUSD to rectify this situation by withdrawing the additional days and bargaining in good faith, so that we can prioritize funding for the programs and initiatives proven to ensure student success.”Unfair-Practice-Charge-UTLA