United Teachers Los Angeles opens its annual Leadership Conference today, and strike talk will be a prominent theme.
As part of the three-day gathering at the Concourse Hotel at LAX, local union leaders will hear from union chiefs from other cities who used the threat of a strike to get a new labor agreement. They’ll also hear from the last UTLA president to lead a strike.
Focus on such a disrupting possibility comes as negotiators for UTLA and LA Unified are meeting periodically over a new contract. But the sides remain far apart, making the possibility of a strike more real than ever.
The conference also comes as the union has intensified its animus toward district Superintendent John Deasy, whose support for the Vergara plaintiffs — he was their first witness — and district missteps in the iPad and MiSiS programs have painted an ever growing target on his back. Deasy’s annual performance review by the school board is set for the Oct. 21 meeting, and an unsatisfactory review could end his tenure — if he doesn’t resign sooner.
While UTLA plays no role in the decision, apart from its fervid support for a handful of board members, it has called the for the board to hold Deasy “accountable” for his actions. Union officials have declined to explain what exactly that means.