AFT’s Randi Weingarten on UTLA’s Victory at Alliance Charter Schools
Sarah Hager Mosby
LOS ANGELES—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement to congratulate the United Teachers Los Angeles after the California Public Employment Relations Board officially certified UTLA as the exclusive union at three charter schools: Alliance Gertz-Ressler/Richard Merkin 6-12 Complex; Alliance College-Ready Middle Academy 5; and Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School, and ordered each school to recognize UTLA and commence bargaining.
Educators at two other charter schools—Alliance Leichtman Levine Family Foundation Environmental Science High School and Alliance Morgan McKinzie High School—filed supermajority petitions for unionization, and it is anticipated that UTLA will be the exclusive bargaining agent of these two schools as well:
“After a struggle that has lasted several years, the PERB has finally confirmed what parents, educators, the Los Angeles community and our union have known for years: Teachers want what students need, and they deserve a seat at the bargaining table to make sure those needs are met.
“Educators have long known that their working conditions are their students’ learning conditions, and this effort to bring a voice to educators at Alliance Charter Schools will help ensure students are able to access a high-quality education. Because after all, educators at charter schools want the same thing all educators want: the resources and respect to teach their kids.
“This victory for 170 educators, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the inequities in our communities and our schools, is massive. It will allow them to think through how to safely reopen schools with the collective strength of a union behind them: supporting students with trauma, bridging the digital divide, and managing class sizes, along with all of the other health and safety considerations required for a safe return to school. We are so grateful for the dogged work UTLA did and the courage and conviction of the educators of the Alliance Charter Schools; and we are glad for the role the AFT had in supporting this effort.”
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.