UTLA moving ahead with boycott in face of district threats
Vanessa Romo | March 23, 2015
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Despite threats by LA Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines to withhold wages, the teachers union, UTLA, is urging teachers to boycott faculty meetings tomorrow at schools across the district.
“The Superintendent has threatened to dock the pay of employees who participate. We know what we are doing is right, and this scare tactic will not stop us,” union officials said in a statement today.
The boycotts are part of the union’s escalating actions in its campaign for “Schools LA Students Deserve,” a platform that includes reducing class sizes, hiring more school counselors, nurses and full-time librarians; and winning an 8.5 percent pay raise.
Contract negotiations between the district and UTLA have stalled, and the two sides are headed to their first mediation session Wednesday.
In a letter to district employees last week, Cortines said he reminded UTLA “that boycotting faculty meetings, or engaging in any other forms of work stoppage, are unlawful and in violation” of state regulations. He also called the boycotts “irresponsible.”
But UTLA contends members have boycotted faculty meetings “many times in past years” and has refused to back down. Teachers plan to rally at campuses after school tomorrow at 2:30.