Word out of LAUSD is that mediation with UTLA (teachers union) has ended as of Friday, October 12 with no agreement reached. This means that both LAUSD and UTLA will be moving to the fact-finding phase for the next five days after which the district and UTLA will move closer to a strike. The five-day fact-finding phase must come before a strike can happen.
At this point, a strike appears imminent.
In case you aren’t sure what fact-finding refers to, the short explanation of fact-finding is when a neutral arbiter comes in, looks at evidence and issues a ruling — of sorts — on who’s right and who’s wrong. (That should be interesting.)
Fact-finding is organized around a three-person “fact-finding panel” — a state-appointed “chairperson,” one representative appointed by UTLA and another representative chosen by LAUSD. At the end of the fact-finding process, the chairperson will make a ruling or a recommendation based on the evidence presented.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Unified School District has filed an unfair labor practice charge against UTLA. According to the complaint. The union did not engage with the mediation process and “After just one mediation session, was seeking to have the mediation process terminated and was openly inciting conflict.”
In return, the union has also filed a charge against LAUSD stating that the district also did not make a good faith effort in mediation and accuses the district of “failing to offer any substantial proposals.”
Brace yourselves Los Angeles. Things are getting uglier by the minute. If you want to see just how ugly, treat yourself to reading the vile twitter feed of @UTLA which includes hundred of vile comments about the LAUSD administration and particularly the Superintendent, Austin Beutner. It seems to many that this is more a personal attack on Beutner than anything else.
And although it looks as though the teachers union is marching toward a strike, we should still try to do everything we can to avoid that.
It’s time for UTLA leadership to stop the personal attacks and model behavior we want to show our kids. And that will always be what is best for students and teachers.
We call on all interested parties to do what is truly best for the children and families at LAUSD, as well as the teachers, and other employees affected, we hope that this can be resolved and that we can avoid having a strike.
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