LAUSD Board Sues Union Over Planned May 15 Teacher Walkout
In a closed-session meeting yesterday, the LAUSD Board of Education voted unanimously to file suit against the teachers' union, UTLA, charging that their planned May 15th "work stoppage" is "unfair labor practice," reports abc7.The planned walkout organized by the UTLA is meant to signal protest against last month's Board of Ed vote to allow massive teacher layoffs across the district and classroom size increases in order to help curb the district's overwhelming budget shortage. Despite the dispatch of federal stimulus funds aimed at alleviating the burden, Superintendent Ramon Cortines first explained that the LAUSD would hold back a significant portion of the monies to use next year, and secondly that the decision as to which teachers and school support staff (counselors, nurses, and so on) would be let go would be up to the individual school sites. Last week, the school sites were given about one day to make those decisions.
Cortines says he and the Board believe "it was both irresponsible and illegal for the teachers to engage in the walkout." He is flummoxed by the union's choice to stage a walkout when they turned down the option to take a furlough day to help alleviate the budget strain. UTLA plans to go ahead with the walkout as scheduled, and Cortines plans to take whatever actions necessary as a consequence.