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 Alliance charters says some its teachers ‘feel harassed’ by UTLA

Mike Szymanski | August 7, 2015

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AllianceAlliance College-Ready Public Charter Schools said today the group violated no laws over unionization efforts and asserted that some Alliance teachers “feel harassed by UTLA’s communications tactics.”

Catherine Suitor, Chief Development & Communications Officer of Alliance, said in a statement to LA School Report the charter group looks forward to arguing its case before the state Public Employees Relations Board on Aug. 21 in response to charges by LA Unified’s teachers union.

“We respect the rights of our teachers to organize a union, and we also respect the rights of those teachers who do not want a union – and we repeatedly state that fact,” Suitor wrote. “Our teachers have freely expressed their opinions on the issue. We have received legal counsel on everything we’ve done as it is relates to the unionization efforts as our goal is to be fully transparent and within the letter of the law.”

The union’s accusations are detailed in two complaints (here and here) to PERB.

“We absolutely disagree with UTLA’s assertion of anything different, and we will defend our position with PERB,” Suitor added. “ On the contrary, we’ve heard from a number of teachers that they feel harassed by UTLA’s communications tactics to strong arm them to join a union that they have no interest in being a part of.”

Alliance is the largest charter group operating in LA Unified, with 27 schools serving 12,000 low-income students.

William Morales, a teacher at Alliance Susan and Eric Smidt Technology High School, said in the statement, “There has been a lopsided discussion about unionization at Alliance schools. We have received a doubled amount of information from the union to our work emails and mailboxes, leafleting at our schools and during our professional development, in comparison to Alliance’s outreach.”

Morales added, “However, we’ve had conversations pro and against unionization across the entire staff email list. I think it’s healthy to hear and discuss all sides – with equity – so we can make an educated choice.”



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