L.A. teachers union members to boycott extended learning day

Los Angeles teachers’ union members voted to boycott the first of four optional additional study days for students, saying the district plans to “simply feign support for students,” the union said Friday.

The first Extended Learning Day is scheduled for Oct. 19, a key mid-semester time when students can improve their grades and seek mid-semester help, county officials said. So far there is no indication that the day will be cancelled.

The extra days were intended to “provide additional instruction for students who have been identified as requiring intensive intervention,” the district said in a statement Friday.

United Teachers Los Angeles has opposed the optional study days — for which teachers would be paid — as poor use of resources and a violation of state regulations that require changes in working conditions to be negotiated through formal labor negotiations. The union has petitioned the state labor inspectorate to intervene on its behalf.

The union statement said that “93% of UTLA educators” voted in favor of a boycott, but did not specify what percentage of union members took part in the vote. The union represents more than 30,000 teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses.

The union’s press release called Learning Days a “$122 million stunt” by the LA Unified School District that “prioritizes optics over student needs.”

“LAUSD has made it clear that they would rather squander $122 million in valuable education funds and simply feign support for students,” the union said in its statement. “These ‘Accelerated Days’ are intended to distract from the district’s refusal to support equitable education for all students by denying our children the support and services proven to ensure academic success. By scattering these days haphazardly across the school calendar, real teaching and learning is disrupted and dollars that should have been spent on education are wasted.”

The district has maintained that the days are not scheduled haphazardly, but inserted at key – and available – points in the academic calendar.

“This is intended to accelerate student progress toward grade level competency, social emotional learning and high school graduation, while providing opportunities for teachers and other staff to earn additional salary,” the district statement said.

LA Unified also questioned the union’s calculations, stating that the $122 million includes $52 million paid to employees to attend the three optional days of vocational training on August 9, 10 and 11.

“The majority of educators have attended these optional, paid adult education days,” the district said in its statement.

The district has defended its method of scheduling the days, noting that they are optional.

Union members have been working under an expired contract since July 1. UTLA is targeting a 10% salary increase for each of the next two years. Their statement said the money for the extra school days would be better spent on smaller classes and higher wages.

LA Unified Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the next deal would at least protect union members from the recent damage from inflation, which he estimates has reduced the purchasing power of wages by about 9%.

Negotiations between the parties on the full union agreement are ongoing.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-08-26/l-a-teachers-union-members-to-boycott-extra-learning-day L.A. teachers union members to boycott extended learning day

Alley Einstein

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