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The Cost of UCLA Lab School Administration’s Lack of Support and Communication – Loss of Qualified Teachers and Unfair Compensation


The UCLA Lab School administration's lack of communication, respect and productive collaboration with teachers has caused significant damage to our learning community. Experienced educators are leaving our school and students will suffer from the loss of talented and dedicated teachers. The administration needs to meet with our union now to address these critical issues.

Teachers have been working with an expired contract for over two years. What can families of Lab School children do?
1. Ask Lab School administration to ensure that the UCLA Lab School Administration Bargaining Team* comes to the bargaining table immediately.
2. Demand that Demonstration Teachers are fairly compensated for the work they continue to do, even in the absence of a contract.

Dual Language Demonstration Teachers have each lost $10,000 of compensation since 2020!

More Dual Language Teachers.jpegFor the past two years Dual Language (DL) Demonstration Teachers have not received their stipend. This stipend recognizes the different and special skill set required of DL teachers to implement the Lab School’s constructivist, inquiry approach. As the DL teachers continued to work with an expired contract, they expected the old contract would remain in force due to “status quo” obligations for expired contracts. In fact, after the contract expired in January 2020, the DL teachers received one stipend payment in February 2020. Although they believed they would continue to receive their stipend under the status quo, without any explanation from Lab School administration, the stipend stopped. This disruption in expected pay is a huge burden for DL teachers who continue to do the same level of excellent teaching and learning, public engagement, and research for less pay.

Dual Language Picture.pngDuring a Town Hall Meeting in 2021, Georgia Lazo was asked why the DL stipend unexpectedly stopped. Georgia misinformed families when she responded that DL Demonstration Teachers receive the stipend for attending additional meetings and since no meetings had occurred during the pandemic, the stipend was not awarded. While our 2016 contract states that the University would agree “to continue discussion with AFT to address the issue of compensation for the Learning in Two Languages [DL] teachers’ service on two committees,” this response is not wholly accurate. When DL teachers were first awarded this stipend it was NOT simply for attendance at meetings.1

UCAFT believes that, at any time, Georgia Lazo can reinstate this Dual Language stipend.

Demonstration Teachers Undergoing Three-Year Review Have Each Lost $2,000+

In 2014, the Demonstration Teacher contract added a provision for merit reviews every three years beginning at the time of hire. The level of merit awarded depends upon a determination of performance, with 6% increases awarded when fully meritorious. The contract language was further codified and described in this Demonstration Teacher Evaluation and Merit Review Process document. The merit review practice for Demonstration Teachers in their first six years of employment at the Lab School has been distinct from the merit review practice for all other UCLA lecturers in their first six years since 2014. This practice continued through 2021. In June 2022, Demonstration Teachers at UCLA Lab School were informed that this practice had changed and that several meritorious teachers would receive merit increases of only 3%. This change was not negotiated by our union and our members were not notified of the change until merit award letters were issued in early June.

More than 10% of our Demonstration Teachers are eligible for this merit increase. They have worked tirelessly during a pandemic, providing care and excellent teaching for children. They have been given the equivalent of a 1% per year increase for the last three years while their colleagues, since 2014, have received a 6% increase upon their successful three-year merit review. This loss of at least $2,000 per year for each of the affected teachers is inequitable and has greatly damaged the morale of our faculty.

UCAFT believes that, at any time, Georgia Lazo can right this wrong and award 6% salary increases to these excellent Demonstration Teachers.

The Biggest Cost to Children and Families: The Incalculable Loss of Excellent Teachers

Respected constructivist teachers with knowledge of our inquiry approach who have been leaders in our school have resigned. Historically, UCLA Lab School has lost two Demonstration Teachers at the end of each academic year. This year, five teachers or about 16% of our facutly will have chosen to leave or have been unfairly dismissed. Children suffer when there is a lack of continuity in teaching teams and when there is a lack of veteran teachers to mentor newly-hired educators. During this unprecedented teacher shortage, and given the lack of any interviews for Demonstration Teachers to date, these fine educators will not be easy to replace.

Stay Informed – Sign-up for Updates

Faculty at the Lab School, individually in our classrooms and collectively through our union, care deeply about the quality of our work, our impact on our students' lives and futures, and our relationships with our students' families. As we approach contract negotiations, we ask for your goodwill and support. We will post honest and timely updates to our website. We will invite you to bargaining sessions so that you can see and hear firsthand what our proposals are and why they matter to us and to your children.

If you'd like to be added to our email list to receive updates on and invites to negotiation sessions, please add your contact information to this form. We promise to protect your information and only send updates and invites.

*UCLA Lab School Administration Bargaining Team: Superintendent of K-12 Operations Devin Dillon; Principal Georgia Ann Lazo; Dean of The School of Education and Information Studies Tina Christie; Associate Dean for Community Programs Jody Priselac; UCLA Campus Labor Relations Kim Massih;

1. The stipend recognizes the extra work and expertise that Dual Language Demonstration teachers possess in order to deliver excellent teaching and learning experiences in a dual language context. In other districts and in independent schools it is common practice to award teachers for special skills and certifications (e.g. special education certification, higher levels of education, etc.). DL teachers continue to carry out extra work in service of children and biliteracy goals, including the following: professional development in both languages; personal work to carry out all three pillars of dual language education (bilingualism/biliteracy, high academic achievement in both languages, sociocultural competence); professional readings that pertain to best practices in a dual language, constructivist, inquiry approach; translation of materials and resources; additional effort to locate relevant and responsive dual language materials, study of the common core standards and side by side standards in Spanish; and family communication in two languages.