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April Vote Will Highlight Union Factions

Hillel Aron | March 12, 2013



PEAC member Alex Caputo-Pearl, left, at a UTLA-led Steve Zimmer phone bank

Tomorrow’s much-anticipated House of Representatives debate over District 6 endorsements isn’t the only potentially divisive issue UTLA’s governing body has on tap this Spring.

Next month, members of the teachers union will also vote on a new initiative to demand various things from LAUSD such as better pay, reduced class size, restored funding of early childhood education and an end to “reconstitution and school giveaways.”

The initiative is the result of a years-long effort by few factions within UTLA, including the United Valley Caucus, the Latino Caucus, and the Progressive Educators for Action, or PEAC.

The initiative is “supported by folks who are critical of the unions direction right now,” said Alex Caputo-Pearl, a teacher at Crenshaw High School and PEAC member. “The current UTLA leadership has basically tried to deal with things in an overwhelmingly defensive and reactive way, taking things issue by issue — like teacher evaluations.”

An LA Times blog post quotes from an “online post” by a teacher named David Rapkin: “Out-foxing the enemy at the negotiations table is a losing strategy.”

“I think this is a coup against Warren,” said a source within LAUSD, referring to the UTLA President Warren Fletcher, who at times has appeared caught in the middle of widely disparate factions within the union — reform-friendly teachers like NewTLA on the one hand, and hard-liners like PEAC on the other.

“It’s not about that,” said Caputo-Pearl.

Previous posts: District 6 Candidate Hardens Position on Deasy LeadershipUnion Schedules Special Session To Reconsider Endorsements*

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