LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Teachers at The Accelerated Schools charter network in Los Angeles are set to carry out the first-ever strike by charter teachers in California today, calling for increased pay and health benefits to reduce the high teacher turnover rate at the school.
The teachers are represented by United Teachers Los Angeles, the same union that represents striking Los Angeles Unified School District educators.
Negotiations between teachers and The Accelerated Schools began 20 months ago and the top priority was slowing the pace of teacher turnover, according to a statement from the UTLA.
“Between last year and this year, 40 percent of teachers left the schools,” the statement said. “The instability caused by high turnover hurts students and the school's ability to deliver a high-quality educational program.”
The union wants what it calls “common-sense job protections” to allow teachers to advocate for their students without fear of reprisal. The exact nature of those job protections was not immediately disclosed. Competitive health benefits are also a demand of the union in order to retain highly qualified, veteran teachers, the union said.
At 7:30 a.m. today, a news conference will be held at The Accelerated Schools at 116 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to discuss the strike. UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten will attend. At 10:30 a.m., the striking charter school teachers will hold a rally at the offices of the California Charter Schools Association at 250 East First St. At 2:30 p.m., they will picket outside Hollywood High School at 1521 N. Highland Ave., supported by members of the entertainment unions SAG-AFTRA, WGA, and AFM, as well as parents and students.