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January 2019, Week 4

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 		 [From the beginning, Caputo-Pearl and the union framed the labor
dispute as a fight over the future — even the survival — of
traditional public education.] [https://portside.org/] 

 SMALLER CLASSES, NEW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS IN TENTATIVE DEAL TO END THE
LAUSD TEACHERS' STRIKE  
[https://portside.org/2019-01-22/smaller-classes-new-community-schools-tentative-deal-end-lausd-teachers-strike]


 

 Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli 
 January 22, 2019
Los Angeles Times
[https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-lausd-teachers-strike-negotiations-20190122-story.html]


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 _ From the beginning, Caputo-Pearl and the union framed the labor
dispute as a fight over the future — even the survival — of
traditional public education. _ 

 On the first day of the teacher strike, demonstrators marched in
downtown Los Angeles for, among other things, more nurses, librarians
and counselors, and smaller class sizes., Roxanne Turpen for NPR 

 

Los Angeles teachers are poised to end their first strike in 30 years
[https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-1989-lausd-teachers-strike-20190110-story.html]
after union leaders reached a tentative deal Tuesday with the L.A.
Unified School District.

The Board of Education is expected to move quickly to ratify the deal.
They convened a morning closed session to review and discuss it. The
deal also must be approved by United Teachers Los Angeles through a
vote of its members.

Union leaders have said they will not end the strike until their
members ratify a contract, but also said they have a system in place
that will allow members to vote within a matter of hours. That means
teachers are likely to be back at work Wednesday.

Regardless, schools will be open on Tuesday, managed by skeleton
staffs of administrators and employees who are not on strike, just as
they were last week. More than two-thirds of students did not come to
campuses during the first week of the strike.

The final key details of the tentative deal were worked out during an
all-night bargaining session that ended at 6:15 a.m.

Less than an hour later, teachers held another rally at a school
complex within walking distance of district headquarters.

The union had planned to have members march to district headquarters
after a 10:30 a.m. rally at City Hall, but canceled the march after
the agreement was reached.

The tentative pact was announced at a 9:30 a.m. news conference at
City Hall by L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner, union President Alex
Caputo-Pearl and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who mediated the final
negotiations with members of his senior staff.

“Today is a day full of good news,” Garcetti said in announcing
the agreement, which he said came after a “21-hour marathon that
wrapped up just before sunrise.”

“Everyone on every side has worked tirelessly to make this
happen,” the mayor said.

The tentative deal includes what amounts to a 6% raise for teachers
— with a 3% raise for the last school year and a 3% raise for this
school year. This was the district offer on the table before teachers
went on strike, but the walkout was always about more than salary.

The agreement also includes a reduction of class sizes over four years
to levels in the previous contract, but removes a contract provision
that has allowed the school district to increase class sizes in times
of economic hardship, Caputo-Pearl said in an interview. It was not
immediately clear how that issue would be dealt with going forward.

But “we have started down a real path to address class size,”
Caputo-Pearl said.

Under the agreement, the district agreed to create 30 community
schools — a model that has been tried in Cincinnati and Austin,
Texas. These schools are supposed to provide social services to
students and family, rich academic programs that include the arts and
leadership roles for parents and teachers.

The district also agreed to expand to about two dozen the number of
schools that will no longer conduct random searches of middle and high
school students. That provision was especially important to students
who marched in support of their teachers.

Beutner said the agreement marked the beginning of a community
conversation.

“Public education is now the topic in every household in our
community,” he said. “Let’s capitalize on that. Let’s fix
it.”

The actual text of the agreement was not immediately available as the
parties worked out final details and signed off. But negotiators
wanted to make an announcement in time for school to resume on
Wednesday.

From the beginning, Caputo-Pearl and the union framed the labor
dispute as a fight over the future
[https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-los-angeles-teachers-strike-reasons-20190109-story.html]
— even the survival — of traditional public education. Beutner
framed the negotiations as a matter of what the nation’s
second-largest school system could afford to do within the limits of
its resources.

Whether the union made progress in that battle is open to question,
but its leaders will take to their members a deal that they say will
improve working conditions for teachers and learning conditions for
students.

In its last offer
[https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-lausd-teachers-strike-20190111-story.html]
before the strike, the district proposed class size reductions that
fell short of the dramatic changes the union wanted and said it would
provide a nurse five days a week in elementary schools and a full-time
librarian for all middle and high schools. The district also offered
to add an academic counselor at high schools, although the
student-to-counselor ratio would remain high.

The union criticized this proposal because the district did not commit
to keeping these positions longer than one year.

Caputo-Pearl said there will be a follow-up agreement that will make
the full-time nurses permanent. He declined to go into details, but
his wording suggested that it could involve funding from outside the
school district. L.A. County already has agreed to look for funds to
pay for expanded nursing and mental health services for next year.
County officials did not initially commit to paying for more than one
year.

District officials said the union demands were far more than the
nation’s second-largest school system could afford.

The union had put forward a lengthy proposal that touched on a wide
range of issues important to its various members, including teachers
at all grade levels, and those who teach early education, adult
education, bilingual education and children with disabilities.

Though raises will help all members, some items on the union’s
original expansive list of demands dropped off the table even before
the strike.

The union could have held out longer — and some insiders originally
envisioned a longer strike. But public support, which has been strong
[https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-lausd-teachers-strike-endgame-20190116-story.html],
might have eroded if the effort dragged on.

Because negotiations took nearly two years, much of the new deal
covers a time period that already is past. The agreement, if approved,
will expire at the end of June 2020, meaning that it soon will be time
to bargain again.

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