Skip to Content
News

L.A. Teachers To Strike Jan. 10: Union Launches Fusillade of Attacks Over Fact-Finding ‘Lies’

UTLA and their supporters marched by the thousands last month to the steps of City Hall. All photos by Philip Iglauer.

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles schools are supposed to be on winter vacation, but the atmosphere is teeming with acrimony and strife as teachers, amid a volley of accusations against the district, set a firm date — Jan. 10, 2019 — on which they will launch the first teachers strike in 30 years.

“We’ve reached a point where enough is enough. We’ve established Jan. 10 as a strike date,” Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said during a press conference at the union’s office in downtown L.A.

UTLA represents some 33,000 teachers, and its members months ago voted to authorize a strike if an agreement could not be reached.

“We have not accepted the district’s offer to go back to the table. We are not going to go back to do what we’ve already done for 20 months and sustain more disrespect to students and members.”

The union’s declaration and definitive line in the sand comes one day after the state released a fact-finding report Tuesday that recommended the adoption of the district's offer of a 6 percent salary increase, with 3 percent retroactive to July 1, 2017, and another 3 percent retroactive to July 1, 2018.

UTLA is holding out for a 6 percent raise retroactive across the board, reduced class sizes, and a scale back on charter school co-locations on public school campuses, among other things. 

RELATED: UTLA-LAUSD Fact-Finding Report

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl (left) and L.A. schools superintendent Austin Beutner (right).
UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl (left) and L.A. schools superintendent Austin Beutner (right).

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said the report recommendation bolsters the district’s positions. He said that the report means the teacher’s union agrees on the issues of back pay and a salary increase.

“Los Angeles Unified’s offer of 6 percent is appropriate and UTLA has agreed that is appropriate,” Beutner said. Beutner’s utterance prompted a fusillade of vitriol by union leaders in response.

“It seems like he’s living in some fantasy world — one that wants to ignore the 50,000 plus citizens who took to the streets this weekend to demand educational justice,” UTLA West Area representative Larry Shoham, told L.A. Taco.

Caputo-Pearl called Beutner’s comment a “stunt,” and said the union is filing a formal “bad practices complaint” on that move.

“United Teachers Los Angeles calls on LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner to immediately retract his statement made today to the media. Contrary to what he told reporters this morning in a press conference, no agreement – salary or otherwise – has been reached between UTLA and LAUSD,” the union said in a statement posted on its website.

Thousands of teachers and supporters protested in Grand Park this past weekend. Photo by Philip Iglauer.

The fact-finding report was ordered following failed state mediation, the last legal step in a process that clears the way for them to walk out. The aim of the panel was to try to find common ground that could pave the way toward a settlement.

Beutner said more talks are needed, but the district is ready if teachers strike.

“If there is a strike, we will be prepared. Schools will be open, children will be safe, and they’ll be learning. But we believe we can avoid a strike. We're working hard to avoid a strike. We’re hoping UTLA will join us at the bargaining table to resolve this,” he said.

Thousands of teachers and their supporters protested in Grand Park this past weekend, in a show of force. The large group – some estimates put it as high as 50,000 – wore red shirts they said symbolize unity.

RELATED: ‘I Don’t Make Enough For Rent’ ~ L.A. Hotel Workers Poised To Strike As Early As Wednesday

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

‘I Wasn’t Prepared For This:’ Placita Olvera’s Iconic El Burro Is Given A 30-Day Eviction Notice Following A Unanimous Vote on Thursday

This Thursday, the Board of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument Authority Commissioners voted to evict La Carreta despite attempts from the family, community, and even the city council to save it. 

July 13, 2024

Downtown L.A.’s First Proudly Queer-Owned Dispensary Is Thriving

The disco ball and neon signs illuminate a wall dedicated to LGBTQIA+ products at Green Qween. Despite the queer community being at the forefront of medical marijuana usage during the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 90s, today, queer representation remains low in the cannabis industry.

July 12, 2024

What To Eat This Weekend In L.A.: Whole Lobster Katsu, Cannabis Omakase, Smoked Brisket Agnolotti, and a Carne Asada Fest Discount

This Saturday, EVERYone is invited to the carne asada. Asada Fest, to be specific. Plus, two new restaurants team up to bring an enticing new menu at Echo Park lake's boathouse restaurant.

July 12, 2024

This Veteran Journalist Wrote a True Crime Book About Gangs Taxing Streets Vendors in MacArthur Park

In his new book "The Rent Collectors: Exploitation, Murder and Redemption in Immigrant L.A." (Astra House, out this month), former Westlake resident Jesse Katz dives into the life of a teenaged member of the Columbia Lil Cycos gang.

July 11, 2024

His Taquería Is Almost At The North Pole, But He Gets His Tortillas From L.A.

This lone taco truck sits in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, a visa-free Island that is home to about 2,900 people from over 50 nationalities located a few hundred miles from the North Pole. The owner is a Swedish taquero who is so obsessed with L.A.-style tacos, that he decided to open the most northernmost taquería in the world.

July 11, 2024
See all posts