After holding down the fort and keeping the District afloat during the UTLA work stoppage, LAUSD frontline managers are being thanked by receiving March 15 Notices―those letters that inform them that as of July 1, they may be released, demoted, or reassigned from their current positions. Yes, the erstwhile District leadership has decided to send out blanket notices to all certificated administrators (except principals and assistant principals in permanent status), whether school-site or office-based. As if that were not demoralizing enough,
We all know the importance of the spiral approach in which the basic facts of a subject are learned first without worrying about the details. Then as learning progresses, more and more details are introduced, while at the same time the basics are reemphasized many times to help enter them into long-term memory. Therefore, we are spiraling back to reiterate some salient points from previous topics.
Unit J members are an important and vital component of the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles. As such, the weekly Update should be more reflective of the hopes, challenges, and voices from our Unit J members. For example,
As part of the negotiations for the 2017-2020 AALA Certificated Agreement, the District proposed to enroll those who were not currently contributing to LAUSD’s 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan into the program. This is a voluntary, supplemental retirement savings plan that is administered by Voya Financial, which has received awards for its investment choices and low fees. AALA certificated members voted to approve the agreement in August 2018. Shortly after the ratification vote, many members, of course, had questions, which we attempted to answer in past issues of Update. Previous articles provided general information about the 457(b) program (click HERE) and answers to frequently asked questions (click HERE).
Last week, the District sent
There are no adequate words to express the heroic work our frontline managers did during the strike, often with no direction or guidance from District leadership, as evidenced by this email from a member:
LAUSD school site administrators are asked to maintain school safety plans, attend trainings, update their Principal Portals, conduct trainings for teachers, and perform other operational duties throughout the school year. I was surprised when the District, facing a serious operational challenge in the form of a six-day work stoppage, failed to provide the school sites with any operational guidelines or updates. I repeatedly checked my District email and personal voicemail for information, not about contract negotiations, but simply about operational best practices as we worked in isolation, with skeleton crews, to keep our students safe.
And while we want to recognize the exemplary work of our members, it seems hollow to just effusively thank the thousands of you who were subjected to the worst possible working conditions
The struggle is real and getting more complicated by the minute. Our frontline administrators have done a yeoman’s job of somehow keeping schools open while trying to provide some semblance of normalcy. Even now, as this article is being penned, administrators are texting, emailing, and calling with a range of concerns and demands from “FOUL! Call a sympathy strike now!” to “The bastille is being stormed by picketers,” to “Escalation tactics are becoming violent, I am afraid for my safety, and fending literally for myself,” to “I want my teachers back NOW!”
We can probably agree that the time has come for the strike to be settled and for teachers to return to the classroom immediately, if not sooner! And while AALA supports many of the righteous demands UTLA is making of the District, and we all know what they are, AALA by the same token is vehemently against UTLA’s proposals to castrate the little to almost no decision-making authority principals currently have.
There is no doubt that signs would look like this one without good teachers in the classroom every day supported by frontline managers. And lest we forget, a significant majority of AALA members were teachers first; are required to have a valid teaching credential to be able to administer; and many of us “Walked the Line in ’89.” This partly helps to explain the sleepless nights, angst, and sheer agony many school-site administrators in our ranks are experiencing, given what appears to be an almost inevitable strike. The worry comes from
Dear Members of AALA:
I make an effort to only write in the first person when absolutely necessary. An elementary school principal wrote to me last week with a challenge regarding the District’s Early Literacy Program. The email went on to mention that every Saturday in December, including the first Saturday of the winter break, was booked with required/mandatory trainings. The article refers to Saturday trainings related to GATE and restorative justice. The intent
The email below is from an AALA member in the trenches and reflects the current emotional and physical state of many of our frontline managers.
I am writing to express the overall dire and poor health administrators are experiencing across the District. Many of my colleagues, and [myself] included,
Periodically, the Update shares trends and challenges our members are experiencing and we find that operational issues continue to create hazards. The specific matters are really not connected in any way other than our members are being continuously investigated for not specifically following District policy to the letter of the law. This week’s newsletter focuses on the potential difficulties with child abuse reporting, social media, and cash-on-hand at schools. The good news is
As we approach Thanksgiving Day and all that it represents for the country, let us reflect on the many things within our educational system for which we are thankful. Granted, life in the LAUSD has been anything but easy since the Great Recession of 2008, yet the District has continued to provide what some call
One component of the 2017-2020 AALA Certificated Agreement with the District was the provision for the auto-enrollment of active certificated members into the District’s 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. It is important to note that:
AALA is proud to announce the Unit J Negotiations Team 2018:
Dr. Judith Perez, Lead Negotiator
Phyllis Lott, Vice President
Lisa Marine, Director
Dave Montes, Director
Laura Ramirez, Lead/Head Steward
Gizella Czene, Member-at-large
Juan A. Flecha, AALA President
The negotiations team convened its first meeting on October 25, 2018, to review:
• Collective bargaining in California
• AALA Unit J Collective Bargaining Agreement 2015-2018
• Bargaining Information and Procedures
• Topics for negotiations
Topics for negotiations and subsequent proposals to present to the District are based on input from the members. There are
Imagine there’s no reorg
It’s easy if you try
Not having to reapply
Above us only relief in sight
Imagine all the frontline managers
Relieved to focus on the kids at hand…
Imagine there’s no reorg with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 networks (supervised by 4 Assistant Superintendents) or who knows
Nothing to worry or pine for
And no displacements, too.
Imagine all the frontline managers
Living life and working in peace on behalf of kids
In their current central and local districts
You may say we’re dreamers
The District and United Teachers Los Angeles have been unable to reach a settlement after three mediation sessions. When mediation fails, state statutes require the parties go to fact-finding, a process that involves the establishment of a panel that looks at all the facts and issues a report with a recommendation on how to settle the contract dispute. The fact-finding panel includes a UTLA appointee, a District appointee, and a neutral chairperson appointed by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Each side has a maximum of five days to select a representative to the fact-finding panel, and a maximum of five days after that PERB has to determine a chairperson. To select the chairperson, PERB gives both sides a list of experienced attorneys or arbitrators and the District and union will alternately eliminate names until only one remains. That person then becomes the chairperson.
The three-person panel then
Last month, we published an article about the election for State Superintendent of Public Instruction which set the record straight on some of the accomplishments of AALA-endorsed candidate Tony Thurmond. The article also informed readers that this race is set to break all fundraising records and be the most expensive campaign in the state. With absentee ballots in the mail and millions being spent on television ads, mail, radio, and Internet advertising, we question why so much money is being poured into the election for a nonpartisan office that will head the California Department of Education, but have limited authority over school funding or educational policy.
The Center at Cathedral Plaza was awash in a sea of red, white, and blue as administrators converged for an evening of networking, enjoying refreshments, meeting with colleagues, and making new friends at the AALA Annual Fall Reception. Lucky attendees won a TV, a notebook computer, and gift cards.
AALA President Juan A. Flecha brought the house down when he thanked his supporters for reelecting him and advised the audience, using the words of President Trump, that in less than two years his administration has accomplished more than any administration in the history of the country!
Unit J members in good standing will be receiving an AALA survey shortly by email. The purpose of the survey is to understand what Unit J members are thinking and what their priorities are for the upcoming negotiations with the District. The results will be analyzed by the Unit J Bargaining Team in order to best
The focus of this week’s Update is to answer the many questions that have arisen as a result of the 2017-2020 Successor Agreement between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles.
Q: Did the Board of Education approve the 2017- 2020 Tentative Agreement (TA)?
A: The Board of Education APPROVED the TA at its first regular meeting of the year on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
Q: When will the negotiated raise and the retroactive pay appear on the pay warrant?