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LAUSD, Teachers union talking AM/FM on new contract

Vanessa Romo | August 22, 2014

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LAUSD and Teachers Union argue over contractAs a further indication of how far off a labor agreement is between LA Unified and the teachers union, UTLA, the two sides met yesterday and each focused on an entirely different matter — the district, salaries; the union, the problematic student data base system, MiSiS.

In a statement released by UTLA shortly after the failed bargaining session — just the third since Alex Caputo-Pearl won the UTLA presidency — the union said the meeting “was devoted entirely to the MiSiS Crisis, because it is taking such a toll on students, parents and educators.”

While a district press release, expressed frustration about not making any headway on teacher salaries.

“Teachers deserve more money, and LAUSD wants to see that they get it now,” Vivian Ekchian, the District’s chief negotiator said in the statement.

The district has proposed giving teachers a three-year deal with raises of 2 percent over the first two years and a 2.5 percent increase in the third year, with raises conditional on the financial state of the district.

But without improving the district’s most recent offer, which UTLA has called a “non-starter,” the union says there wasn’t much to discuss.

Instead, UTLA used the meeting to lay-out a proposal aimed at solving the problems caused by MiSiS, which has left thousands of students without proper class assignments for more than a week. The plan includes forming an advisory Joint Technology Committee “with an equal number of parents, teachers, administrators, and clerical staff to explore more efficient and effective ways of adopting, purchasing and implementing school technology systems.”

It also calls for extra IT support for staff, additional compensation for administrators and counselors who have worked overtime to enroll and program students, and halting the grade-keeping component of the new system.

Caputo-Pearl said, “Again and again the superintendent makes decisions in a bubble and as with the iPad fiasco, it is students, educators and parents who are paying for his mistakes.”

In response to LA School Report’s story that Superintendent John Deasy plans to hire his own liaison on MiSiS, Caputo-Pearl said, “it would be a typical Deasy move.”

Deasy is under fire again over the district’s one-to-one iPad program. An internal report by the LAUSD committee which provided oversight of the tablet rollout — leaked to the LA Times — found it was “beset by inadequate planning, lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process.

The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, September 2 and Thursday, October 2.

Previous Posts: LA Unified computer problems hampering special ed teachers; Teachers union blasts Deasy again for new computer system; UTLA’s Caputo-Pearl: ‘Our goal is to win a good contract’

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