Statement from LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines on the Call by UTLA for Its Members to Boycott Faculty Meetings

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is urging its members to boycott faculty meetings scheduled on March 24, April 7, and April 14, 2015.  I have sent a letter to UTLA reminding them that attendance at faculty meetings is a required professional duty under the LAUSD-UTLA contract agreement.  Boycotting these meetings also violates the terms of the 1990 Final Order as determined by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).  Employees who participate in the boycott of required faculty meetings will not be paid for the work time missed.
 
Faculty meetings are a critical forum for teachers and administrators to discuss vital educational and operational issues, such as student achievement, instructional planning, school budget priorities, professional development, student and employee safety, and parental participation.  I am troubled and disappointed that UTLA is urging teachers not to attend these important meetings.  This action harms the continuity of the educational process at our schools and sends a disturbing message to students, parents, and our community. 
 
The District is also concerned that this is the first step in what UTLA calls “escalating actions,” toward a planned strike against our students, parents, and school communities.  Nothing could be more detrimental to the extraordinary educational progress that this District has made in recent years. 
 
As we await the involvement of a mediator in negotiations, I urge UTLA to stop this irresponsible and unlawful effort, and instead work with the District to complete negotiations so that all employees can devote their entire focus to the District’s core mission of educating students and ensuring student safety. 

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Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766