LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The union representing Los Angeles Unified School District’s 30,000 teachers now says it will postpone a strike until Monday due to the possibility a judge will rule it didn’t give the district enough notice.
LAUSD is seeking an injunction to stop the strike that was originally scheduled to start Thursday, alleging they were not given a legally required 10-day notice of a strike. A judge on Tuesday denied a motion by the teachers union to the electronic filing rules that would have allowed a hearing to occur, but otherwise, the court has not announced whether a ruling will be made.
“We do not want to bring confusion and chaos into an already fluid situation,” UTLA’s Gloria Martinez said. “Although we believe we will ultimately prevail in court, for our members, for our students, our parents and the community, absent an agreement, we will plan to strike on Monday.”
LAUSD and UTLA held dueling press conferences on Wednesday.
“Let’s be clear that their offer cannot be accepted,” said LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner.
The union’s goal in fighting the injunction and delaying the strike is to prevent a disruption that could dampen its momentum. Both sides are scheduled to be back in court Thursday morning.
The two sides have been negotiating for nearly two years, and underwent mediation and a fact-finding session in recent months. UTLA announced its intention to strike a day after the fact finder’s report was released in mid-December.
The district says its latest offer offers bigger pay raises and a bigger investment in the hiring of staff to reduce class sizes, but the union says pushing for a much bigger investment in the hiring of counselors, nurses, librarians and other professional staff.
The two sides last met Monday to negotiate, but failed to reach a deal. The district and the teacher’s union were back at the bargaining table Wednesday.
LAUSD schools will remain open during a strike, according to the district, but will be staffed with just 2,400 substitutes and other district staff.