Posts tagged LAUSD

    Why Government Unions—Unlike Trade Unions—Corrupt Democracy

    April 9, 2023 // Newly-elected governors and mayors in most states quickly discover that they have no managerial control over schools, police, and other government operations. If an elected executive has the backbone to try to buck the union, and restore managerial powers when an agreement comes up for renegotiation, the executive in many states will find that unelected arbitrators have the final say. Near-zero accountability makes its practically impossible to transform a lousy school, or an abusive police culture, because the supervisor can’t enforce good values and standards. No accountability also removes the mutual trust needed for any healthy organization. Why try hard, or go the extra mile, when others just go through the motions? The absence of accountability is like releasing a nerve gas into the agency or school. Rigid work rules guarantee massive inefficiency. Basic services such as trash collection, and road and transit maintenance, cost two to three times what it would cost in the private sector. Need someone to help out or fill in? Sorry, not permitted. Need teachers to do remote teaching during the pandemic? There’s nothing about that in the agreement, so it must be negotiated.


    April 4, 2023 // SEIU Local 99’s massive strike in LA Unified ended last week with union leaders bragging that the strike showcased the union’s strength. But the reality is more stark for the union: SEIU is facing steep declines in membership and revenue, and the strike appears more like an act of desperation. According to internal LAUSD documents, the union is struggling to retain their membership. Of the nearly 23,000 employees represented, 26% have decided to stop paying their union dues. That’s 26% of a budget the union desperately needs to engage in political donations and activity — and to lobby legislators.

    Was the LAUSD strike illegal? That’s up to a judge to decide

    March 29, 2023 // There are two types of strikes that can be declared: economic and unfair labor practice, said PERB General Counsel Felix De La Torre. An economic strike requires that union leaders first exhaust all avenues of negotiation. This requires declaring that negotiations have reached an impasse, enlisting the support of an independent mediator and carrying out fact finding research. While SEIU Local 99 completed the first two of those steps, it did not finish the third. An unfair labor practice strike, on the other hand, can be declared at any time. This is the type of strike that SEIU Local 99 declared after filing over a dozen unfair labor practice charges with PERB against the district. These charges include alleged surveillance of union members, retaliation against members, withholding of information and interference in union activities.

    The Problem(s) With Public Sector Unions

    March 29, 2023 // Regardless of this contract outcome and which sides can claim victory, serious questions arise regarding the advisability of having public sector unions such as the SEIU, UTLA, et. al. in existence at all and their ability to collectively bargain and launch strikes against essentially the taxpayers of any given public jurisdiction. In the case of the recent LAUSD strike, 420,000 students and their families were held hostage by public sector unions in a school district already beset by financial and other woes. According to LAUSD superintendent Alberto Carvalho, what the union sought would have put the school district on the brink of insolvency. Also, the strike itself precluded many disadvantaged students from receiving necessary daily meals that their families count on. Most importantly, a school district still reeling from the effects of a Covid-induced school lockdown just could not afford three more days of non-instruction. Arguably, the LAUSD is already a floundering if not failing district with ever-increasing taxpayer spending in spite of withering enrollment and diminishing student performance. It is to be noted that the demographics of the American union have changed dramatically over the years. While at one time the predominance of union membership was mostly among private sector blue collar workers, the ratios have flip-flopped where now the greatest numbers are not only in the public sector but are also associated with white collar employees. It should be further noted that public sector unions were once illegal in the United States.

    OP-ED: LAUSD’s unions could support policies to help all Californians

    March 14, 2023 // According to the SEIU, the average annual salary for the 30,000 LAUSD service workers they represent is $25,000. But that includes all service workers, from part-time to full-time. About 75% of the members work fewer than eight hours per day, and with school in session only 180 days, or 36 weeks per year, even many of the workers with “full-time hours” are off for up to 16 weeks per year. Union representatives themselves acknowledge LAUSD’s reliance on a part-time workforce. But it raises an uncomfortable question that applies to teachers as well: If K-12 schools in California operate for the equivalent of just 36 full weeks per year, is it reasonable for people working in these schools to expect to earn enough to cover a full year of expenses? Similarly, if some of the service jobs require a worker for only a few hours each day, how can the district’s taxpayers afford to pay them for a full day?


    February 14, 2023 // SEIU Local 99 represents roughly 30,000 LAUSD employees, consisting of bus drivers, custodial staff, teacher aides, cafeteria workers and after school workers. The union representatives have stated that the workers seek not only higher wages across the board, but also increased staffing, factors that they feel are crucial coming out of a pandemic, with children falling behind on curriculum and needing assistance outside of normal school hours.

    Former Los Angeles Teacher’s Stand Against Union Push to ‘Defund the Police’ Reaches 9th Circuit

    January 11, 2023 // With billions of someone else’s dues dollars at stake, it’s little wonder UTLA is hell-bent on making an example of Laird for others contemplating the same course of action. What couldn’t be glossed over quite as easily, though, is another ruling deferential to the influence of powerful labor unions rather than the U.S. Constitution.

    SEIU school workers in Los Angeles announce 2023 strike vote

    December 27, 2022 // SEIU Local 99 represents 30,000 cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and other related workers. The union recently protested outside LAUSD headquarters to highlight their demands. The union demanded higher pay, more full-time work options for its members, and better healthcare benefits. The average annual salary for workers is $25,000 and most workers have part-time work schedules.

    Report: 555 LAUSD unvaccinated teachers terminated, 1,700 new hires are uncredentialed

    April 26, 2022 // “California is one of the states that spends the most money and yet we are one of the lowest states in terms of the results on standardized testing,” Snowball told the Southern California Record. “What that tells me is that it's not so much there being a correlation between spending and results as there is between teachers wanting to teach their students. We have to ask where is that money going. In many cases, money is going to fund union agreements with these districts and getting people these cushy retirement packages or cushy benefits. None of that results in a better turnout for the students.”