District and UTLA Meet Again on Contract

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 21, 2014) – Negotiators for L.A. Unified met today with representatives of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA)—and again made no progress towards agreement on a three-year contract. Raises, a major sticking point, weren’t even on the agenda for discussion. 
“I’m disappointed that they won’t discuss the raises we want to give them,” Superintendent John E. Deasy said.  “Teachers deserve these raises for their hard work and their successes in our classrooms despite tough budget cuts.”
UTLA declined today to concentrate on raises, preferring instead to focus on the new My Integrated Student Information System (MiSIS).                         

In fact, today, Superintendent Deasy indicated that a contractor--who reports directly to him--will be hired shortly to independently oversee and troubleshoot MiSIS.

The District’s salary offer, combined with other scheduled increases in total compensation, represents a 26.3 percent increase.   This includes the newly increased contribution for teacher pensions and projected increases in health benefit costs.  Currently, L.A. Unified’s teachers pay nothing from their monthly paycheck for generous health benefits that include medical, vision and dental care unlike teachers in other districts.  Elsewhere, employees often pay as much as or more than $1,000 each month for coverage inferior to L.A. Unified’s benefits.
Most importantly, our teachers would receive bigger paychecks—8.64 percent over three years.  Newer teachers, who generally earn $50,000 a year, would receive $7,341 in additional earnings.  Veteran teachers, who make on average $75,000 a year, would receive $11,011 in additional salary earnings.  Both amounts include a well-deserved lump sum payment equal to two percent of base pay from the 2013-14 school year.
“Teachers deserve more money, and LAUSD wants to see that they get it now,” Vivian Ekchian, the District’s chief negotiator said.  “Most other LAUSD employees are getting two-percent raises in their August paychecks, and their lump sums in September, representing a 4% increase in earnings during the 2014-2015 school year, with an additional 4.64% in the following two years.  Employees are excited that the District is heading in the right direction with these raises and Superintendent Deasy wants the same for teachers.”
Today’s negotiations ended with no progress toward a salary settlement. The next sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, September 2 and Thursday, October 2. “I am disappointed,” Deasy said. “But, I remain resolved to get all our employees increased compensation ASAP.”


Contact: Gayle Pollard-Terry (213) 241-6766


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