This week, the District’s Chief of Staff and selected senior leaders began the first of an ongoing series of meetings to discuss LAUSD health and safety practices with labor partners. We were told the Superintendent wants the meetings to be held weekly to address the many worries and concerns from every bargaining unit. AALA members are encouraged to continue sharing concerns and they will be sent to District staff prior to the scheduled meeting. The District has committed to providing responses when the labor partners come together.
During our first meeting, the Office of Environmental Health and Safety highlighted Safety Alert No. 20-03, released last month. We are sharing it with you in its entirety as it is an important concession from the recently signed side letter between AALA and the District, specifically item number 2 (see below).
“This is unacceptable. I have been working on campus when most were too scared to leave their homes. Now they are making us take a test and sign a consent form and if not we could be facing consequences. Please advise as my Union President.”
You are cordially invited to caucus by department at 4:30 p.m., today, Thursday, October 08, 2020. The caucus gives level-alike members the opportunity to share and discuss issues and areas of concern for the association to pursue with the District’s senior management. It is also a time to take care of important business matters relevant to each department.
For example, the Adult, Elementary, and Secondary Departments have vacancies to fill to complete the AALA Executive Board.
As the country still reels from the presidential candidates’ debate earlier this week, many people are taking to social media to express their views. And while everyone has the right to their own personal opinions and political viewpoints, it is prudent for those of us in the public sector to be cautious about what we post on the various social media platforms. We have advised in previous issues of Update how what seems to be harmless,
JOIN THE FIRST AALA REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY MEETING ON THURSDAY,
OCTOBER 1, 2020
(Link to be sent separately by email)
Elementary, Secondary, Adult, Early Childhood Education, Unit J, School Support Administrators caucuses begin at 4:30 p.m.
• Elementary Director, 2020 – 2023
• Secondary Department Vice President, 2020 – 2021
• Adult Department Director, 2020 – 2022
AALA received the District-signed side letters yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. The AALA bargaining team’s goal, as always, is to address the most pressing issues on the minds of members. It is important to be upfront and inform you that the District showed little sensitivity or interest on the topic of remuneration for AALA members. The bargaining team approached the negotiations knowing full well that this topic was going to be a heavy lift. This is especially so because
The AALA Bargaining Team (Dr. Judith Perez, Lead Negotiator, Dr. Ayanna Davis, VP–ECE, Kevin Kilpatrick, VP–SSA, Phyllis Lott, VP–Unit J, Nery Paiz, VP–Elementary, Juan A. Flecha, President) concluded negotiating side letters for AALA certificated and Unit J yesterday afternoon.
The side letters and the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Educator Development and Support: School Leaders, 2020-2021 are being signed today and will be emailed to members as soon as both signatures are received.
This week, the principals of an organization came together for what in years past had been the traditional meeting at our home-away-from-home, also known as Pickwick. The virtual meeting had some informative sessions proudly led by AALA School Support Administrators. The meeting was also sprinkled with District brass thanking our members for all they do. No mention was made
One member put it best, “Just when I think the week cannot get worse, the District outdoes itself by completely ruining my weekend. I used to approach Fridays with a Thank Goodness attitude. I now approach Fridays with depression, doom, gloom, and outright fear of what the District is going to impose on me after close of business. By the way, this can be said of most every day. The District does its very best work by sending missives, directives, and [things] to do, already added to a brimming list, after close of business, which is typically at 5:00 p.m. However, I can say the one thing the District is doing right during this pandemic
The AALA Bargaining Team (Juan A. Flecha, President; Kevin Kilpatrick, Vice President School Support Administrators; Phyliss Lott, Unit J Vice President; Nery Paiz, Elementary Vice President; Elsa Madrid, Adult Vice President; Dr. Ayanna Davis, Early Childhood Education Vice President; Dr. Judith Perez, Lead Negotiator) has begun negotiations with the LAUSD Office of Labor Relations.
The AALA team is approaching this demand to bargain with
Maybe publishing the newsletter is not such a great idea after all. The idea is for members to share voices and experiences from the field in a safe and confidential matter. More importantly, the intent is for the District and the Board of Education to get a pulse of what is happening in schools and offices and use it to make immediate course corrections. Regrettably, it is having the opposite effect. Matters are worse today than a week ago.
This week’s Update wrote itself. The “Tales from the Crypt” as told by our members are ineffable and disheartening. The foci of this week’s edition are:
• Your harrowing voices from the brick-and-mortar field.
• AALA’s demand to bargain.
• Immediate job actions to take starting Monday.
March 13 and all that happened starting the following Monday seems like a life time away. And despite the breakneck speed of going from brick-and-mortar to virtual, in retrospect, the District showed some heart and sensitivity, even though it did not feel that way at the time.
Dear Mr. Flecha:
After reading your post in the last newsletter referencing the report that 42% of current principals are considering leaving their jobs due to heavy workloads, low pay and lack of autonomy, I have to wonder how AALA is working with the District to improve working conditions for principals. It seems every week I read in your newsletter the same anonymous letters reporting how so many principals are overworked, overwhelmed and mistreated.
These complaints usually land on deaf ears, as things just seem to be getting worse. Now the District is reorganizing to community-based local districts, which will result in more senior administrators and support staff creating more work for principals. When are principals going to stop being the hard labor for the District just so everyone who doesn’t work at a school site can justify their jobs? How is this repurposed idea going to benefit principals, teachers and students at the school site?
If you really want to support principals, work toward giving every school an assistant principal, increased pay and more autonomy, and maybe we’d complain a little less. But DO SOMETHING! What’s most disturbing is that principals have been reduced to writing anonymous complaint letters to AALA (in fear of retaliation from the District) as the only way of being heard. What a sad state of affairs.
Another anonymous letter from a principal
cc: Superintendent Beutner
Dear Another Anonymous Principal:
I want to thank you for your thoughtful insights and feedback; and apologize for the delayed response. The AALA bargaining team, like you, has been working assiduously on proposals to address the very same issues you raise and others.
I hope the side letters the bargaining team negotiated for our certificated and classified members is proof positive I AM DOING SOMETHING!
Two years ago AALA authored an article entitled Abracadabra! And 3027 is gone! (Click HERE.) And with the stroke of a red pen, a couple of vaguely opaque sentences, and a dash of hocus pocus the District made the unthinkable happen in the Superintendent’s Final Budget 2018-19 ― the disappearance of Program 13027 funds. The good news is AALA went into immediate action with the Superintendent and the Board of Education and schools were held harmless.
Regrettably, we are at the same crossroads yet again
I want to thank you for having the back of the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD). As a long time former (retired) member of the department, I was touched by your words and grateful for your support. In these trying times, your response to UTLA’s call to eliminate LASPD was brave. Your response was greatly appreciated by past and present members of the organization.
If UTLA knew
“A harm to one is a harm to all” has been the quintessential battle cry of one of our sister unions. The hypocrisy of them now turning their backs on their own sisters and brothers is ineffable and unfortunate. How can one union (United Teachers Los Angeles) opportunistically seize a moment of national grief and turmoil to call for the eradication of another sister union (Los Angeles School Police Department)? How can a brother from one union intentionally deny another brother the ability to put food on his family’s table? How can a sister union utterly turn its back on an ally in a post-Janus world? Only the UTLA Board of Directors “push[ing] for the elimination of police in schools…” and the UTLA brass know the answer.
Accolades go to the two sensible
Are you sitting silently on the sidelines? Is it because you are not Black and the police have not brutalized a family member or someone you know? Is it because you are not Latino and have not shed tears over the pictures of undocumented children in cages? Is it because you are not Native American and did not have a family member that was sent off to a reservation boarding school? Is it because you are not Asian and did not have a family member that was sent to an internment camp during World War II? Is it because you are not of Irish, Italian, or Jewish descent and did not have family members treated as vermin when they immigrated into this nation? Is it because
Below is a letter sent by AALA President Juan A. Flecha to the LAUSD Board of Education Members and the Superintendent:
AALA has been sounding the alarms about the untenable and unsustainable working conditions of our members for years on end. The District’s responses have varied from outright indifference and a “manage-up, butter cup” mentality to temporary