Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against LAUSD

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The union representing Los Angeles Unified School District teachers filed an unfair labor practice charge against the district today, claiming unlawful interference with the union's strike authorization vote and failure to provide key public information and financial documents.

United Teachers Los Angeles claims by expediting the release of information from union President Alex Caputo-Pearl's personnel file from 2014 the district is attempting to distract the public and unlawfully influence the strike authorization vote.

The union also claims the district has delayed and refuses to respond to requests to provide basic financial documentation.

The LAUSD did not immediately provide a response to the union's claims.

District teachers began casting ballots Thursday in a strike- authorization vote.

UTLA has declared an impasse in contract talks with the district, which have been going on for more than a year, leading to the involvement of a state mediator who will work with both sides in hopes of brokering an agreement.

Even the mediation effort has led to increased tension in the talks, with UTLA accusing the district and Superintendent Austin Beutner of dragging its feet and delaying mediation sessions.

While the union has made multiple demands, including calls for reduced class sizes and tougher accountability measures for charter schools, salaries appear to be the most significant pending issue.

The district has offered annual 2 percent raises over three years, along with a one-time 2 percent bonus and a $500 stipend for materials and supplies. The proposed raises are on line with those accepted by other LAUSD employee unions, including the Service Employees International Union and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, according to the district.

The union, however, is asking for retroactive 6.5 percent salary increases.

The district has insisted that the union's contract demands would increase LAUSD's existing $500 million deficit in the current school year by another $813 million. It also claims that the district's existing $1.2 billion reserve fund cannot be used to cover the union demands since it is already being used to offset the existing budget shortfall.

UTLA's roughly 35,000 members are working under the terms of a labor contract that expired June 30, 2017.

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