UTLA plans ‘Big Red Tuesday’ and monthly ‘escalating actions’
Craig Clough | September 25, 2014
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As part of a plan to increase pressure on LA Unified as it negotiates for a new contract, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is planning monthly “actions” to take place on campuses around the district.
In preparation for the actions, which are to begin in October, UTLA is dubbing Tuesday, Sept. 30 as “Big Red Tuesday,” when union members are all being encouraged to wear red clothing as a sign of unity.
In his recent State of the Union speech, UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl outlined the idea behind Big Red Tuesday.
“It seems small, but [LA Unified Superintendent John] Deasy will ask his administrators — you best believe he will — to count the shirts to measure our resolve. And when they see them from the harbor to Chatsworth, and East LA to the beach, it’s going to send a message to our networks of communication and our resolve across the city,” Caputo-Pearl said.
Sept. 30 also happens to be the same day the school board is meeting in a closed-door session to discuss Deasy’s upcoming annual review.
Red is one of the official colors of UTLA and many of its T-shirts are printed in red. The organization has often encouraged members to wear red when taking part in a protest or gathering, as it did in 2010 when members staged a protest outside of the Los Angeles Times.
Caputo-Pearl also told the crowd to “[k]eep your eye out for the first of a series of monthly escalating actions starting in October at school sites.”
Details on what the October action might entail have not been released by UTLA. Earlier this week, the union issued a press release that covered Big Red Tuesday and the October action but gave no more details than the hints Caputo-Pearl dropped in his speech. The release did encourage parents and community members to wear red on Sept. 30 to “show Deasy and LAUSD that we are united in our fight for Schools LA Students Deserve.”
UTLA and LA Unified are meeting periodically over a new contract, but the two sides remain far apart.