May 2015 -- On April 17, United Teachers Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District reached a tentative contract agreement that was the culmination of months of effective union organizing. The three-year deal includes a 10 percent salary increase over two years (UTLA members have gone without a raise for the past seven years), unprecedented class size caps, targeted class size reduction in grades 8-9, new secondary counselor ratios, new language regarding the reassignment of employees under investigation, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on teacher evaluation. Salary and class size will be among reopened articles for 2016-17.
The settlement addresses many of the issues spotlighted by UTLA’s “Schools LA Students Deserve” campaign, a grassroots effort petitioned by UTLA members and approved by vote of the general membership. The campaign involved partnering with parents and community groups and making issues benefiting students key components of the union’s bargaining proposals.
Throughout negotiations, UTLA leaders engaged members through organizing actions that included districtwide school site visits, site picketing, parent leafleting, faculty meeting boycotts, strike buildup preparation, and a massive “Stand at Grand” rally in downtown Los Angeles. With the agreement in place, UTLA will shift focus to school board election runoffs being held May 19.