January 14-22, 2019. UTLA members went on strike. You know who was NOT a part of that? SEIU. Nor was AALA. Instead, they worked to cram the students into auditoriums for daily lessons and meals. They worked on behalf of the District and helped in the attempt to break our union!
SEIU and AALA both recommended their employees report to work while we stood on the line in 2019. Alone. But we did it.
- In 2019, SEIU & AALA told their employees to go to work. And they did.
- In 2019, UTLA told us to be tolerant. And we were.
- In 2023, we hear the false cry of solidarity.
That is NOT how reciprocity works.
The only support we had was from students and parents. Both unions told their employees to go to work while we stood on the line. Yes, that happened. And there is no shame in reporting to work. UTLA is preventing me from doing the same.
And in the end, in 2019, UTLA sold out its members for a disingenuous "wage increase" (which was nothing of the kind) and smaller class sizes. Here we are in 2023, asking for the same things.
Fool me once…
Do not ask me to fall for the myth of solidarity!
Do your damn job, UTLA, and secure my contract. It is YOU who is failing to do your job. There will always be a Beutner or a Carvahlo. Do your job!
I do not get to choose who my students are, and you do not get to choose who you negotiate with. We are both expected to get our jobs done, no matter the clientele. DO YOUR JOB!
- 10 months without a contract.
- 10 months of watching you fail and make excuses.
- 10 months of listening to the same tired rhetoric as 2019.
Teachers were betrayed by our union in 2019, obviously. The demands of 2023 are the same as the demands of 2019. And there is no reason to believe the overpriced UTLA & LAUSD bureaucrats won't do the same thing again while:
- we lose pay,
- we lose the continuity of our instruction,
- we mess with the calculus of our pensions
- we endure the demeaning demands to march here and go there and carry a sign or walk all over LA
- we wait for you to cut another backroom deal with the mayor and district that will not even match a cost-of-living increase in wages.
The optics of this make it seem like UTLA is now using SEIU to cover their failure to produce results on our behalf. Remember us? We are the ones whose dues pay your salaries. We are NOT SEIU members.
I speak for no one but myself. I speak not as an anti-union employee; rather, I speak in hopes of a better union.
- A union that cares less for its own bureaucracy and more about the people paying their salaries!
- A union that cares less about social issues unrelated to their PRIMARY PURPOSE of securing a contract for its members.
- A union that can do its job like its members do their job, in spite of the outrageous barriers put in place by non-practitioners.
I am a teacher and a UTLA member since 2003. And I do not appreciate being backed into a corner by my union's inability to negotiate a contract. I do not appreciate being forced to stand with organizations who did not stand with me in my time of need.
Thomas M. Alfera
UTLA Member since 2003