Los Angeles teachers’ union says it’s ready to strike Monday

The Los Angeles teachers’ union rejected the school district’s latest offer on Friday, meaning the union is ready to go on strike Monday morning, union leaders said at a news conference.

“At the end of today’s session, we declared impasse,” said Arlene Inouye, co-chair of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) bargaining team.

Inouye said the school district’s proposal was inadequate and that the district has made insufficient movement in their 21 months of bargaining.

The Los Angeles Unified School District issued this statement Friday night:

“We are extremely disappointed that United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has rejected Los Angeles Unified’s revised offer without proposing any counter offer. UTLA has refused to continue contract negotiations. More than 48 hours remain until Monday when UTLA plans to strike, and we implore UTLA to reconsider.”

In a tweet, the school district said it presented an offer that would “significantly reduce class size and ensure no increase in any class size, increase nurses, counselors and librarians at all schools, along with a 6% salary increase and back pay for the 2017-2018 school year.”

But union president Alex Caputo-Pearl, speaking at the news conference, said the offer was good for only one year. He called it “a woefully inadequate proposal” and that a strike was imminent if another offer isn’t made over the weekend.

If approximately 32,000 teachers and staff members do strike Monday, classes will continue at all schools.

About 600,000 students could be taught by more than 2,000 reassigned administrators and about 400 substitute teachers, the school district said. Exactly how that would work out logistically remains uncertain.

Union members say they want LAUSD to pull from its $1.86 billion in reserves to increase school staffing and to boost teachers’ salaries by 6.5%.

But the school district says it doesn’t have nearly as much money as the teachers’ union thinks. The school district said it might not even have enough money to meet a required 1% reserve by the 2021-2022 school year.

Friday, Inouye said LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner did not show up to the bargaining. She said Beutner announced the school district’s proposal to media before presenting it to UTLA.

“We are disrespected when we experienced this from the superintendent of LAUSD,” Inouye said.