Teachers Rally for Salary Hikes; Union Prez Says Strike Is on the Table

Last week, LAUSD offered a 2 percent raise for all teachers for the current school year, with another 2 percent increase next year.

UTLA Facebook page.
UTLA Facebook page.

More than 50 Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and staff joined union officials today at a rally for what they are calling a seven-year, overdue pay increase as contract negations with the district are ongoing, with one official saying the option of a strike remains on the table.

District officials are in contract negotiations with United Teachers Los Angeles, the union that represents LAUSD teachers and staff. Last week, the district offered a 2 percent raise for all teachers for the current school year, with another 2 percent increase next year.

The union, which represents 35,000 teachers and other staff, rejected the 2 percent raise. It has been seeking a 17.6 percent increase over several years.

Superintendent John Deasy declined to comment because of ongoing negotiations with the union.

The union's board of directors rejected the 2 percent offer last week, saying it failed to address concerns about class sizes, staffing and fair compensation.

"That is nothing short of an insult to the teachers and the health and human service professionals at LAUSD," UTLA President Warren Fletcher said at a news conference outside the UTLA headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

The union has complained that teachers have gone without a pay increase for seven years.

Fletcher said a strike would be an extraordinary action.

"A strike is always extraordinary action, but a strike is always on the table," Fletcher said, adding that the union is ready to respond to any reasonable offer. "I'll let you know when I see one."

Erika Jones, a teacher at Angeles Mesa Elementary School, said she wants to see investment in more classrooms.

"It's time for us to turn this around and get the schools our students deserve," Jones said.

The district's Board of Education is expected to finalize the budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year in mid-June. The next meeting is set for June 10.

--City News Service

Don June 03, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Ah pay them for being bad. Mediocre performance, HS grad rate at 50%. They're union right, banding together to fight injustice- how about internally first. Now give us substance that shows you earned raise, not entitled because your taking up space. And I want tenure back as well. If you won't do it, I'll do it for you, excuse me us- remove incompetence- that will cull the herd
JMarsh June 03, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Thank you Kat! If you calculate the hours teachers put in before and after school, taking professional development classes (that they pay for) and summer prep time. Teachers salaries are lower than their paid hourly rate.
Carl Petersen III June 03, 2014 at 01:08 PM
I think that you need to check your reporting. It is my understanding that the teachers were not offered a 2% raise for the current year. Instead they are being offered a 2% bonus. This means that after not receiving a pay increase for seven years they are now being offered a TOTAL 2% pay raise (the one for next year). ___________________________________________________ For those against a pay increase for teachers, how many of you would not be looking for a new profession if your pay was stagnant for seven years? I also ask if you think that the Superintendent should be penalized for the poor performance of the schools? He and his top staff saw no problem in giving themselves raises. It is time to www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com
tony June 03, 2014 at 10:17 PM
Yes I know I own my own business and my earnings have dropped 65% since 2007. I do not get 4 months off a year nor do I get medical,dental at no charge to me . I do not get a pension provided by taxpayers that will pay me 2 million dollars after age 65 assuming I live to be 85. So quit your whining and be happy that you have such a wonderful carefree, free time, incentive career. 17.5% increase, hell I would love to be making what I was making back in 2006 and 2007. not 59% less.
Frank Estrada June 04, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Oh please what a joke.. For the sake of the children, the LAUSD should be dismantled already rather than to allow them to continue to spew out or "graduate" more illiterate children further in raising our pool of ill equipped job seekers... Yes smaller is better....With all of it politicking and BS the LAUSD failures have caused people to flee our school system and has resulted in people avoiding living in LAUSD areas... To me all I hear from these people is who else is to blame..typical... Let's do what needs to be done already and hold teacher accountable for their students performance and all also have teachers tested every few years. This public union bs has gone to far and has made a shambles of our schools....I give a resounding NO to any raises!!!! And while we are at it, fire our superintendent....


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