How the UTLA orchestrated the betrayal of Los Angeles teachers


The timeline of a sellout

How the UTLA orchestrated the betrayal of Los Angeles teachers

Alan Gilman

24 January 2019

The betrayal Wednesday of Los Angles teachers by the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) epitomizes the anti-working class character of unions and the depths these organizations will go to suppress social opposition.

Teachers returned to their classrooms Thursday still shocked and outraged over how the UTLA pushed through a contract that ignored their most critical demands to increase wages and school funding, reduce class sizes and stop the expansion of charter schools. One teacher described feeling like there was “a hole in her heart” and reported seeing teachers crying because nothing they went on strike for was realized.

In particular, teachers were angered over how the union rammed through the deal without giving teachers sufficient time to study and discuss it, along with the undemocratic voting process. As of this writing, the UTLA has still not completed counting the ballots.

How was this done?

From the very beginning, the UTLA did everything to prevent a strike, dragging the negotiating process over 20 months, ignoring the 98 percent mandate to strike, and submitting to endless state mediation and fact-finding.

Facing increasing pressure from rank-and-file teachers, the UTLA was ultimately compelled to call a strike for January 10. Three days before, however, UTLA president Alex Caputo-Pearl announced the union was dropping the teachers’ most critical demands opposing the expansion of charter schools, unlimited standardized testing and other schemes used to privatize education. Caputo-Pearl tried to justify this capitulation by claiming the union had no choice but to accept LAUSD’s position that such issues were outside of collective…

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