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UTLA announces new contracts for teachers at 4 charter schools

Craig Clough | August 5, 2015

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UTLAUnited Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has announced that it negotiated new contracts for teachers at four LA Unified charter schools — Palisades Charter High, Pacoima Charter Elementary, Ivy Academia and Granada Hills Charter High.

Two of the contracts include raises for teachers.

UTLA currently represents more than 1,000 educators at 13 charter schools. They include six charters that converted from traditional  schools  — Birmingham Community Charter High School, Granada Hills Charter High, Montague Charter Academy, Pacoima Charter, El Camino Real Charter High School and Palisades Charter High.

Five other independent charters have been unionized by UTLA  — Ivy Academia, Apple Academy Charter Public Schools, Accelerated Schools, Port of Los Angeles High School and Global Education Academy. And two charter chains — Green Dot and Camino Real — have their own California Teachers Association-affiliated unions.

The new contract at Palisades High will include an eight percent raise over two years, an increase in stipends for master’s and doctorate degrees, and “an agreement that an academic accountability committee made up of a majority of educators will assess students’ needs and make recommendations based on those needs, which will then be bargained and voted on by the membership,” UTLA’s newsletter reported.

The newsletter also said the committee was formed due to the administration instituting an “unpopular bell schedule change.”

At Pacoima Charter, teachers will receive a 12 percent raise in each of the next two years, as well as a commitment for an increase in 2017. The teachers also “fought off a number of take-backs, including elimination of lifetime health benefits for new hires, extension of faculty meetings, and new mandatory meetings and PD sessions,” UTLA reported.

UTLA said teachers at Ivy Academia received a stronger voice in decision-making and teachers at Granada Hills Charter received improvements on their vision and detail plans, auxiliaries and salary point credits. UTLA also said contract bargaining is underway or about to begin a number of other charter schools where the teachers are represented by UTLA.

A group of teachers at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools is currently working unionize as well, an effort the administration is against. The fight has led to UTLA filing a labor complaint against Alliance for what it says is illegal interference in the unionization process.



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