Join Live: Striking for the Schools Los Angeles Students Deserve
35,000 teachers in Los Angeles are out on strike to take on the privatization agenda of Austin Beutner, the former investment banker and current Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) are demanding a pay increase, smaller class sizes, more funding for counselors, social workers, and nurses and a moratorium on charter school expansion. The school district is hoping to hold on to their $1.9 billion in reserves and continue defunding, dismantling, and privatizing L.A.'s 900 public schools.
This webinar was facilitated by Labor Notes Education Coordinator Barbara Madeloni on Tuesday, January 15 at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST.
- Karla Griego is a teacher at Sotomayor Learning Academies.
- Mark Ramos is a teacher at Franklin High School.
- Gillian Russom is a teacher at Roosevelt High School.
Are Los Angeles Teachers Next? by Samantha Winslow in Labor Notes: "When the Union Power caucus won leadership of UTLA in 2014, President Alex Caputo-Pearl vowed to open up closed-door negotiations and aim higher with a plan to defend and improve public schools. The new leaders organized a contract campaign and won a contract in 2015 that raised pay and created counselor-to-student ratios for the first time. But leaders knew that a credible strike threat would be essential to winning bigger demands. So the union spent three years building up the people power it would need."
L.A. Teachers Prepare to Strike: Here's what's at stake by Nelson Lichtenstein in Dissent: "Thirty-five thousand Los Angeles school teachers are on the verge of a strike. Their demands include a 6.5 percent pay increase, smaller class sizes, more funding for school counselors, nurses, and librarians, and a cap on the proliferation of charter schools throughout their city."
Los Angeles Teachers Poised to Strike by Rachel Cohen in The American Prospect: "It would be the first teacher strike for the Los Angeles Unified School District since 1989, and the first large-scale teacher strike in a blue city since the national #RedforEd movement took off last February. Educators in Oakland, six hours north, are also currently engaged in fraught contract negotiations, and have signaled they too could strike later this month."
Why the L.A. Teachers Strike Matters by Lois Weiner in Jacobin: "The current UTLA leadership campaigned and won office with ideas that put it solidly within the reform movement, where it is allied with the Chicago Teachers Union."
For updates, follow the Labor Notes and UTLA Facebook pages.
Donate to the official strike solidarity fund here.