UTLA rejects sending teachers back to in-person learning unless union's demands are met

UTLA has voted to not send teachers back to in-person learning as the union doubles down on its demand to get teachers vaccinated before returning to school.

UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said Friday night that more than 90% of union teachers voted "YES" on rejecting the return of in-person learning.

The ballot obtained by FOX 11 earlier in the week read like this:

  • A YES vote means you agree with UTLA’s leadership and will join your union brothers, sisters and siblings in organizing to resist a forced return to school sites until the three conditions for safety mentioned above have been met.
  • A NO vote means you are willing to physically return to your school or place of work under unsafe conditions even if the infection rates are still in the Purple Tier without vaccinations, and without all of the safety conditions in place such as ppe, physical distancing, ventilation or daily cleaning.

Friday’s announcement comes as UTLA members issued a following shortlist of demands to ensure a safe return to classrooms:

  • LA County must be out of the purple tier
  • Staff must be fully vaccinated or access to the doses
  • Safety conditions must be in place, which includes PPE, social distancing, ventilation and daily cleaning.

However, earlier in the week, the City News Service reports it is unlikely that all elementary school teachers would be vaccinated in time to meet LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner's proposed Apr. 9 date of bringing teachers and students back into classrooms.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: State deal encourages school reopening by April, but local resistance looms

LAUSD and UTLA's ongoing struggle to reach an agreement comes as nearby school districts like Long Beach Unified School District and Torrance Unified School District have either announced return dates (LBUSD) or celebrated bringing back students to classrooms (TUSD)

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