LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Los Angeles teachers say they will go on strike Jan. 10, and no further talks are in the offing with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“We are not going back into a bargaining process that has failed and that the district has not taken seriously for 20 months,” United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl said at a news conference announcing the decision Dec. 19. “In this context, the traditional bargaining process has not worked.” School Superintendent Austin Beutner says the district cannot afford the 31,000-member union’s demands for smaller classes and more support staff, but the UTLA believes his plans to reorganize the district into 32 “networks” are part of a scheme to expand privately operated nonunion charter schools. “Beutner is intentionally starving our schools by hoarding the reserves so that cuts can be justified, opening the pathway for his ultimate goal: to break up the school district into 32 networks, making our neediest schools more vulnerable to takeover attempts by corporate interests,” the UTLA said in a statement Dec. 18. The state Public Employment Relations Board will hold hearings on the district’s charges that the union has not bargained in good faith.