Union attempts to ram through deal to end Los Angeles teachers strike
23 January 2019
The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) attempted to ram through an agreement Tuesday night to end the six-day strike by more than 33,000 teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district. The deal, which was crafted by leading state Democrats, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Gavin Newsom, is a blow to teachers that will pave the way for an escalation of the bipartisan attack on public education throughout the United States.
The manner in which the deal was supposedly ratified underscores the contempt the union executives have for rank-and-file teachers. The deal was announced Tuesday morning, just before a scheduled mass rally. The full text of the contract was not released until the afternoon, shortly before 33,000 teachers, nurses and counselors were told to report to 900 separate schools to vote starting at 5:30 or 6:00 pm.
Teachers were told to review the 40-page document, raise any questions and vote on the deal within a couple of hours, in time for UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl to announce that the deal had been “overwhelmingly ratified” at an 8:15 pm press conference.
Many teachers expressed extreme skepticism about the vote results, which were not even finalized before the UTLA announced the end of the strike. Ballots are still being counted into tomorrow, and teachers reported overwhelming opposition at their schools. Most of the comments on the Facebook livestream announcing the “ratification” of the contract were opposed to the deal.
This sham, which Caputo-Pearl cynically called “democracy in action,” was designed to prevent teachers from gathering en masse and to rush a vote before anyone had time to…