UTLA Strike Agreement: How Satisfied Are Teachers?

Kylon Wade, Staff Writer

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On Jan. 14, the teachers in the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) went on strike. This has been the first strike in the last 30 years, and it lasted for a total of 6 days. A couple of negotiating meetings were held with the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) leaders and the LAUSD district officials.

On Jan. 22, UTLA leaders held a press conference at 7:30 p.m. after their UTLA members voted in favor of the agreement. Teachers had four hours to read a 40-page agreement.The UTLA chairman Midsanon Lloyd reported the Venice results were 54 in favor, 24 against, and 19 abstentions.

The Oarsman asked 30 teachers from Venice if they were satisfied, strongly satisfied, or not satisfied with the new contract. 13 reported being unsatisfied, 11 were satisfied and three were strongly satisfied. The remaining three teachers were not willing to discuss their opinion on the agreement.

Mr. Lloyd, who is also a Venice High history teacher, participated and led the Venice contingent of the strike.

“I think overall, the contract gives us more than what we had before,” said Mr. Lloyd. But he had lots of problems with the new contract. “The section 1.5 on class sizes is very important; they can still put up to 45 people in history classes. That is not justice after all the whole strike. We gained a lot of ground, but not as much as we could have. It was like winning a battle, but not claiming all of the land.”

Dr. Angela Fajardo explained how the contract was very satisfying to her.

“The cause of reducing class sizes was a huge success to me. It’s not just good for me, but it’s good for LAUSD teachers. All of these benefits for our students and having nurses is immense.”

Traci Thrasher is a theater teacher and English teacher. She was picketing on the front lines of the strike and strongly believes that “the time that we had to discuss the contract was definitely not enough time. Also the class size reduction was honestly just not enough and it could’ve been better.”