Teachers protest LA Unified 609 layoff notices to offset deficit
Vanessa Romo | April 27, 2015
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One week after a landmark deal that will bring LA Unified teachers a double digit salary increase, more than a hundred members of the teachers union, UTLA, protested potential district layoffs this morning before the start of hearings to challenge the cuts.
The school board last month authorized 609 layoff notices that were issued to teachers, counselors and social workers, explaining that “reductions in force” are necessary to balance the 2015-16 budget.
At the time, district officials projected a $160 million deficit for next year. That was before the tentative three-year agreement giving teachers a 10.4 percent raise over two years was made. Once implemented, the new deal will cost an additional $171 million annually.
But union leaders argue there is enough money to keep their members on staff and issue raises. UTLA is banking on a massive infusion of cash from the state after Governor Jerry Brown’s budget revisions in May to offset any potential budget deficits.
“The district has to prove they do not have the money to justify a layoff,” Suzanne Spurgeon, UTLA’s communications director, told LA School Report. “UTLA does not believe the layoffs are necessary. These cuts will negatively impact students.”
Permanent, certificated employees affected by the layoffs have a right to a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
*Corrects quote attributed to Suzanne Spurgeon.