mcloudy.png
Wednesday July 8th, 2020 10:40AM

Teacher strike delayed in second-largest US school district

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing teachers in Los Angeles — the nation's second-largest school district — postponed the start of a strike until Monday because of the possibility of a court-ordered delay of a walkout.

United Teachers Los Angeles previously said its 35,000 members would walk off the job Thursday for the first time in 30 years if a deal wasn't reached on higher pay and smaller class sizes.

However, a judge was considering Wednesday whether the union gave legally proper notice of a strike and could have ordered teachers to wait.

Union officials said they believe they would have prevailed in court but decided to postpone a strike to avoid confusion and give teachers, parents and others time to prepare.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, with 640,000 students, said the delay provides an opportunity to keep talking and avoid a strike.

Teachers are hoping to build on the "Red4Ed" movement that began last year in West Virginia, where a strike resulted in a significant raise.

It moved to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado and Washington state, spreading from conservative states with "right to work" laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions.

"What you're seeing with unions is real enthusiasm and a belief that you can actually be successful," said Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois. "The educational sector is rife with deep grievance and frustration, but there's now a sense that you can actually win."

The walkouts in other states emboldened organized labor after a critical defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled last year that government workers can't be required to join unions and pay dues.

"Each state is different, but the commonality across all states is teachers, and parents are sick of schools not being invested in," union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said.

The Los Angeles district has offered a 6 percent raise over the first two years of a three-year contract. The union wants a 6.5 percent hike that would take effect all at once and be retroactive to fiscal 2017. Health care fully paid by the district and a pension plan would be unchanged under both proposals.

The union also wants significantly smaller class sizes, which routinely top 30 students, and more nurses, librarians and counselors to "fully staff" the district's campuses in Los Angeles and all or parts of 31 smaller cities, plus several unincorporated areas.

The district has said the union's demands could bankrupt the school system, which is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.

Negotiations were continuing, but little progress was evident in the contract dispute.

Superintendent Austin Beutner traveled Wednesday to Sacramento to ask state lawmakers for additional resources for Los Angeles schools in hopes of averting a walkout.

Unlike other states, schools in California stay open if a strike happens. The Los Angeles district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers and others who leave for picket lines.

The union said it's "irresponsible" to hire substitutes and called on parents to consider keeping students home or join marchers if a strike goes forward.

Larry Sand, a retired Los Angeles and New York City teacher who heads the California Teachers Empowerment Network, said he believes the Los Angeles union sees its showdown with the district as a public "sales pitch" for organized labor now that teachers have a choice about joining.

Sand, whose organization describes itself as a nonpartisan information source for teachers and the public, said overly generous benefits for teachers in the past have overburdened the district.

Teachers earn between $44,000 and $86,000 a year depending on their education and experience, according to the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The district says the average teacher salary is $75,000, which reflects the older, more experienced workforce.

The union argues that the district is hoarding reserves of $1.8 billion that could be used to fund the pay and staffing hikes. The district said that money is needed to cover retiree benefits and other expenses.

Beutner, an investment banker and former Los Angeles deputy mayor without experience in education, has become a lightning rod in negotiations.

The union says Beutner and school board members who voted him in are trying to privatize the district, encouraging campus closures and flipping public schools into charters — privately operated public schools that compete for students and the funds they bring in.

Beutner, who attended public school, has said his plan to reorganize the district would improve services to students and families. He and his supporters on the board envision an education system with a "portfolio approach" — public and charter schools under the same leadership.

___

Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCM

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Small Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Teacher strike delayed in second-largest US school district
The union representing teachers in Los Angeles _ the nation's second-largest school district _ postponed the start of a strike until Monday because of the possibility of a court-ordered delay of a walkout
5:47PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Texas landowners dig in to fight Trump's border wall
Texas landowners dig in for long fight to stop Trump's border wall
5:47PM ( 15 minutes ago )
3 dead after commercial crabbing vessel capsizes off Oregon
A commercial fishing boat capsized in rough waters off the Oregon coast, killing three men aboard
5:39PM ( 23 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Nielsen says 35 million people watched Trump speech
An estimated 35 million people watched President Trump and Democratic leaders speak to the nation Tuesday on the partial government shutdown and border security
5:53PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: House passes bill to fund agencies amid shutdown
The House has approved a bill to fund the Treasury Department, the IRS and other agencies for the next year as part of a Democratic strategy to reopen the government on a piecemeal basis
5:28PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Dutch, Japanese PMs offer to help save imperiled Brexit deal
The prime ministers of Japan and the Netherlands offer help to prevent a Brexit without a divorce deal between UK and EU
5:21PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump stalks out of shutdown session with Dems -- 'Bye-bye'
White House tries to hold jittery GOP in line over wall, government shutdown
4:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
Adviser: Billionaire Steyer won't run for president in 2020
Billionaire investor and Democratic activist Tom Steyer will not run for president in 2020
4:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Pence says Democrats 'unwilling to negotiate'
Vice President Mike Pence says Democrats were "unwilling to even negotiate" an end to the partial government shutdown
4:10PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Medieval woman's art career revealed by blue stains on teeth
Brilliant blue flecks found on the teeth of a woman who died anonymously about 1,000 years ago have cast new light on the role of women and art in medieval Europe
3:03PM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump claims GOP 'totally unified' over shutdown
President Donald Trump says Republicans are "totally unified" in the shutdown standoff over his long-promised southern border wall, though some GOP lawmakers have been expressing concern about the 19-day partial government closure
3:01PM ( 3 hours ago )
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos divorcing wife after 25 years
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing, ending a 25-year marriage and raising questions about fate of his $137 billion fortune
2:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Denver unveils new system for clearing marijuana convictions
Denver became the latest city in the nation to take steps to eliminate low-level marijuana convictions in places where the drug is now legal
2:57PM ( 3 hours ago )
Abu Dhabi fund, developer seek to sell Chrysler Building
The owners of New York City's Chrysler Building are putting the iconic Art Deco skyscraper on the market
2:06PM ( 3 hours ago )
Illinois man who took on ballistics evidence faces retrial
An Illinois man who spent more than two decades in prison for a murder conviction obtained with shoddy ballistics evidence is getting a chance to prove his innocence with a new trial
2:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Trump hastens to Capitol to hold GOP in line on shutdown
White House tries to hold jittery GOP in line over wall, government shutdown
1:49PM ( 4 hours ago )
On his Mideast trip, Pompeo makes unannounced Iraq stop
US Secretary of State Pompeo makes unannounced stop in Iraq on Mideast tour
1:08PM ( 4 hours ago )
White House tries to hold jittery GOP in line on shutdown
White House tries to hold jittery GOP in line over wall, government shutdown
12:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Congressional leaders at White House for talks
Congressional leaders from both parties have returned to the White House for another round of negotiations with President Donald Trump on the ongoing partial government shutdown
3:24PM ( 2 hours ago )
Anatoly Lukyanov, ex-Soviet parliament speaker, dies at 88
Anatoly Lukyanov, former parliament speaker imprisoned for role in coup attempt that precipitated the Soviet Union's collapse, has died at age 88
2:54PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Dutch PM wants to help May win Brexit backing
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he's working with France, Germany and other nations to help his British counterpart Theresa May win Parliament's approval for her divorce deal with the European Union
2:30PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Showdown looms as UK lawmakers clash over May's Brexit deal
The British government is bringing its little-loved Brexit deal back to Parliament, a month after postponing a vote on the agreement to stave off near-certain defeat
10:00AM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: UK lawmakers defeat May on Brexit timetable
A top European Parliament leader is appealing to lawmakers in London to show "responsibility" as they resume consideration of Britain's divorce deal with the European Union
9:45AM ( 8 hours ago )
Democrats: Trump using misinformation, malice in wall debate
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say President Donald Trump is trying to "stoke fear" in seeking a U.S.-Mexico border wall and America's symbol "should be the Statute of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."
9:28AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Family says it will care for baby born to comatose woman
The family of an Arizona woman in a vegetative state for years who became pregnant and had a baby said it would care for the child but angrily pressed for answers as the search for her rapist intensified
4:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
Fed minutes: Growing risks make rate hike path less clear
Fed officials last month said rising downside risks made future path of rate hikes 'less clear'
3:48PM ( 2 hours ago )
Ousted Pixar chief John Lasseter to head Skydance Animation
The ousted Pixar co-founder and former Disney animation chief John Lasseter will head the recently launched animation division of production company Skydance Media
3:21PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Washington governor, NY mayor push expanded health coverage
Washington's governor and New York City's mayor have unveiled major initiatives to expand health care coverage
9:33PM ( 20 hours ago )
Mogul Sumner Redstone settles lawsuits with ex-girlfriend
Ailing 95-year-old media mogul Sumner Redstone has settled a series of lawsuits pitting him against his ex-girlfriend days before a trial was set to begin
4:15PM ( 1 day ago )
Washington governor pushes public health insurance statewide
Washington Gov. and likely presidential candidate Jay Inslee is proposing a public health insurance option for state residents
3:13PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Small Business
Texas landowners dig in to fight Trump's border wall
Texas landowners dig in for long fight to stop Trump's border wall
5:47PM ( 15 minutes ago )
3 dead after commercial crabbing vessel capsizes off Oregon
A commercial fishing boat capsized in rough waters off the Oregon coast, killing three men aboard
5:39PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Comatose woman who had baby is hospitalized, police say
Authorities say an Arizona woman in a vegetative state who became pregnant and had a baby was the victim of a sexual assault
5:28PM ( 33 minutes ago )
US officials declare end to outbreak from romaine lettuce
US health officials say food poisoning outbreak from romaine lettuce is over
5:23PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Judge frees Palestinian man from 2-year immigration hold
A Palestinian immigrant who was jailed in Iowa for two years while awaiting deportation has been released after a federal judge ruled he had been held for too long without a reasonable expectation of being repatriated soon
5:13PM ( 48 minutes ago )