Monday, January 28, 2019

Truest statement of the week II

From the very beginning, the UTLA did everything to prevent a strike, dragging the negotiating process over 20 months, ignoring the 98 percent mandate to strike, and submitting to endless state mediation and fact-finding.
Facing increasing pressure from rank-and-file teachers, the UTLA was ultimately compelled to call a strike for January 10. Three days before, however, UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl announced the union was dropping the teachers’ most critical demands opposing the expansion of charter schools, unlimited standardized testing and other schemes used to privatize education. Caputo-Pearl tried to justify this capitulation by claiming the union had no choice but to accept LAUSD’s position that such issues were outside of collective bargaining.

Then the UTLA announced it was postponing the January 10 strike date to January 14. When it became clear the teachers’ commitment to fight had become even stronger, the UTLA called the walkout on January 14. Although there was widespread public support, it was clear the UTLA had no intention to wage the type of battle that teachers were demanding. Although it had not struck in 30 years, the union provided no benefits from its multi-million-dollar strike fund.

-- Alan Gilman, "How the UTLA orchestrated the betrayal of Los Angeles teachers" (WSWS).

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