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California Regulator Issues Complaint against UTLA for Refusing to Bargain in Good Faith (12-19-18)

Complaint for refusing to bargain in good faith issued same day as state-appointed, neutral Fact Finder issued report supporting Los Angeles Unified’s offer

UTLA also attempts to retract support for the six percent salary increase

UTLA refuses to return to the bargaining table to meet with Los Angeles Unified

The State of California Public Employment Relations Board issued a Complaint against United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) for refusing to bargain in good faith. UTLA said they have reviewed and considered the Fact Finding Report and that they do not believe the findings of the report serve as a basis for resolving the bargaining dispute.

In the report, the state board stated, “Respondent [UTLA] failed and refused to bargain in good faith with Charging Party [Los Angeles Unified]” and the “Respondent [UTLA] refused to meet and negotiate in good faith with Charging Party [Los Angeles Unified]” for over a year from April 2017 to July 2018 when UTLA declared impasse. 

Based on the state regulator’s Complaint, several of UTLA’s contract demands are unlawful. These include:

  • Magnet School Conversions:  UTLA proposed that a magnet school conversion should be subject to a super majority support by staff vote.
  • Testing: UTLA proposed that teachers should have complete discretion to determine when and/or what standardized assessments are used in classrooms (beyond those required by law).  
  • School-Based Funding: UTLA proposed to turn complete control over all school-based funding, professional development, implementation of state and federal programs, course electives, periodic assessments and program options to the Local School Leadership Council (controlled by UTLA) and away from the school administration.
  • Teacher Assignments:  UTLA proposed to allow staff majority vote to determine procedures for teacher class assignment at every schools and required staff to vote on the selection of a coach, coordinator, or dean.
  • Adult Education: UTLA proposed to change rules how temporary adult education teachers become probationary.
  • Union Representation: UTLA proposed that teachers should be represented not only at meetings relating to discipline and grievances but at “all meetings related to employee working conditions.” 

In addition, the Complaint alleges other types of bad faith bargaining such as withdrawing previously accepted proposals, adding requirements, and proposing items UTLA knew were not acceptable.  

Download the Full Text of the Complaint

UTLA leadership continued its unwillingness to bargain in good faith when it attempted to retract its support for a six percent salary increase for teachers and all UTLA members.

UTLA twice communicated its support for Los Angeles Unified’s salary offer:

  • Vern Gates of the California Teachers Association and UTLA’s representative on both Mediation and the Fact Finding panel, agreed with the neutral Fact Finding chair saying, “I concur with Chair Weinberg’s recommendation regarding the District’s salary proposal with respect to the compensation increase of three percent for 2017-18 and three percent for 2018-19.”
  • UTLA posted on Facebook that the labor union “marched on Saturday to demand smaller class sizes, a six percent pay raise and the hiring of more school nurses, counselors, and librarians.”

UTLA refuses to bargain in good faith with Los Angeles Unified as evidenced by the following timeline:

  • September 25, 2018, District offered six percent raise with contingency. UTLA response:  None.
  • September 25, 2018, District offered six percent raise plus reduction of class sizes at 90 schools.  UTLA response:  None.
  • October 30, 2018, District offered six percent raise with no contingency. UTLA response:  None.
  • October 30, 2018, District offered six percent raise plus elimination of section 1.5, amend class size numbers with triggers.  UTLA response:  None.

Los Angeles Unified does not want a strike – which only UTLA can authorize – because a strike would harm students, families and communities most in need.