Twitter icon
Facebook icon
RSS icon
YouTube icon

calendar.png

Demonstration Teachers are Ready to Bargain...Where is UCLA?

Share

April 26, 2022

 

Dear Lab School Parents and Community, 

 

On February 11, UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers issued a demand to bargain over the 2022-23 school calendar as well as other negotiable subjects. Since February 11, demonstration teachers, through our union's executive director, have requested and proposed bargaining dates on five occasions. To date, UCLA and the lab school administration have not offered a single bargaining date or given any indication of a timeline for beginning bargaining. In fact, the administration has spent significant time and energy trying to establish a legal basis for refusing to bargain over the school calendar. Transparency is a union value. As such, we have shared the full record (below) of communication between our union and the administration about starting bargaining. 

 

Our bargaining team, Christina Paul, Sylvia Gentile, Judith Kantor and Christopher Wilson, have dedicated evening and weekend hours each week for the past two months to prepare for negotiations so that we can quickly, efficiently and collaboratively negotiate a new contract that honors the hard work and dedication of lab school teachers and supports our effort provide a high quality education for our students. Our Executive Committee, Julie Kern, Sylvia Gentile and Judith Kantor, has held meetings with demonstration teachers to ensure that our bargaining demands reflect the teachers' priorities and students' needs.

 

The Lab School administration sent out a communication to Lab families on April 25 with a tentative calendar and the suggestion that our union has in some way delayed the process of establishing a final school calendar for 2022-23. It's very important to the demonstration teachers at the lab school that our families know and understand that we are and have been willing and ready to start negotiations. And, that we intend to negotiate in good faith for terms that will empower us to be the best educators we can be.  

 

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 first hand 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.  

 

As we've said, we are ready to bargain and we are waiting for the UCLA and the lab school administration to schedule negotiations. We want to finalize the school calendar soon so that we can all plan our lives for next year. We are not interested in a late summer final calendar. If that comes to pass, it will be entirely due to the administration's delay in coming to the bargaining table. We hope it won't happen that way. If you agree, please ask Principal Lazo to schedule a bargaining date soon and to commit to weekly bargaining sessions until we reach agreement on a contract. Our bargaining team has already made this commitment.

 

Sincerely, 

 

UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers
UC-AFT Local 1474

 

Complete Record of Contract Negotiation Scheduling Communications
 

Fri, Feb 11, 2:23 PM

Dear Nadine,

It has come to UC-AFT’s attention that the Lab School administration is initiating a school calendar planning process in a meeting of the Professional Leadership Committee (PLC) on Monday, February 14, 2022 with the intent of establishing a new school calendar for the 2022-23 school year as soon as March 2022.

School calendars, including instructional days, instructional minutes, planning time, and related topics are all mandatory subjects of bargaining. The Lab School administration and the University have been notified of our intent to negotiate a new side letter, and we have initiated scheduling of that process, beginning with an initial meeting to share our interests in negotiations for this round of bargaining. School calendar, including the topics listed above, and many others, are within the scope of negotiations for the new Lab School side letter.

Therefore, UC-AFT demands that Lab School administration cease and desist from planning, development and implementation of a school calendar until such time as we have negotiated to agreement on these subjects and any others opened in negotiations.

UC-AFT is eager to begin negotiations, and we reiterate our request for dates and times when we can meet to outline our interests for this round of negotiations and to establish a consistent schedule of bargaining dates.

We look forward to your reply and a productive and collaborative negotiation process.

Sincerely,

Bill
UC-AFT Executive Director

...........................................
Feb 11, 2022, 2:41 PM
Hi Bill,

UCLA will respond to you directly regarding your cease and desist demand regarding the Lab School calendar.

Further, UCLA will be handling the negotiations for a Lab School Memorandum. You may contact Ulysses Aguayo or Kim Massih to schedule bargaining dates.

Sincerely,

--Nadine
UCOP Labor Relations
............................

Wed, Feb 16, 6:50 PM
Hi Kim and Ulysses,

I'm hoping that we can begin to schedule bargaining dates for Lab School. Our side will be ready to meet in the first week of March. We would like to schedule a consistent meeting, maybe weekly, on a certain day and time. Scheduling is always very difficult and can lead to long delays. With a standing weekly schedule, we can eliminate a lot of wasted time in scheduling and set a good pace for productive negotiations. So, as an initial step, please let me know how soon your side can be ready to begin meeting.

If we can agree to a standing time, our team can meet every week on Thursdays 4:30-6:30. We can't meet earlier in the day due to daily teaching responsibilities.

For the first meeting, we'd like to have a sunshine type meeting where both sides share the articles and topics we plan to open and discuss our interests in each.

Please let me know if you have other preliminary considerations you'd like to discuss. I'm hoping we can work together to make this an efficient (quick!) and productive process.

Thanks.

Bill

.............................................
Fri, Feb 18, 11:31 AM

Hi Bill,

 

Thanks for reaching out.  We are currently working with Lab School to put together our negotiation team.  As soon as we’ve confirmed our members and have had the opportunity to discuss potential dates and times with them, we will reach out to you to discuss scheduling.  Please let us know if you have any questions in the interim.  We’ll be in touch soon.

 

Best,

Marnie

UCLA Labor Relations
.........................
Fri, Feb 18, 11:53 AM
Thank you, Marnie. I'd like to be able to give my team a sense of the timeline. If you can give any estimate for when you think you'll be ready to talk about scheduling, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks, again.

Bill

...........................

Feb 18, 2022, 12:09 PM

Hi Bill,

 

We’re still working out some details as Marnie mentioned, but we will reach out to discuss scheduling as soon as reasonably possible.

 

Thanks,

Ulysses

UCLA Labor Relations

........................

Feb 18, 2022, 12:12 PM

Thanks, Ulysses.  I wasn't trying to add pressure.  Just trying to narrow the window if possible so my team knows what to expect.  I understand if it's not possible for you to estimate the timeline at this point.  Thanks.

Bill

.............................

Mon, Mar 7, 8:43 PM

Hi Bill,

 

Thanks for your email. The Lab School is considering operations for the 2022-2023 school year and has not made any final decisions. As in years past, the Lab School will share any proposed decisions with the teachers prior to implementation.

 

Attached please find the tentative proposed calendar for the 2022-2023 school year. As noted in the attached calendar, the Lab School proposes 173 tentative work days for the 2022-2023 school year, which is the same number of work days for the 2021-2022 school year. We have not, and are not planning to, change the terms and conditions of employment for the Demonstration Teachers.

 

Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions.

 

Best,

Kim Massih

UCLA Labor Relations

...........................................

Tue, Mar 8, 3:56 PM

Hi Kim,

Thank you for your reply and this additional information. As you know, on February 11, UC-AFT submitted a demand to bargain over the calendar, which includes the number of school days, hours, prep time, lunch breaks, etc. As mandatory subjects of bargaining, these topics, and others, must be negotiated with our union before a decision is made and implemented. Whether or not the University is proposing a change from last year is not relevant and does not mitigate the obligation of the University to negotiate these subjects. It has now been almost one month since our demand to bargain was placed and the university has made no effort to schedule negotiations.

We understand the urgency involved with establishing the calendar for next year and that's why we asked for bargaining dates three weeks ago. See my email from February 16 below. We would like to begin bargaining the week of March 28th. We have proposed that we schedule a standing weekly bargaining session on Thursdays, 4:30-6:30PM. With this proposal, our first bargaining session would be on Thursday, March 31. A two-hour, weekly session should allow us to move quickly and efficiently through negotiations.

Please confirm March 31, 4:30-6:30PM or suggest alternative dates and times. Due to daily teaching responsibilities, our side cannot meet before 4:30PM. And, please respond to the proposal for a standing weekly bargaining session.

Thank you. I look forward to starting productive negotiations soon.

Bill

.................................

Mar 15, 2022, 12:55 PM
Hi Kim,

I haven't received a response to my email on March 8 proposing Thursday, March 31, 4:30-6:30PM for the first Lab School bargaining session. I will be on vacation all of next week, so we need to get this scheduled by the end of this week. Please let us know if the proposed time on the 31st works for the University. And, please let us know if the University can commit to a standing weekly bargaining session at that time. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

Bill

...................................

Mar 24, 2022, 2:48 PM

RE: UC-AFT Request to Cease and Desist Implementing Lab School Calendar

Dear Bill:

This letter is in response to your March 8 and March 15 correspondence regarding the UCLA

Lab School calendar. As you note in previous correspondence, the University Council –

American Federation of Teachers (“UC-AFT”) submitted a demand to initiate a side letter for the

Lab School and requested that the “Lab School administration cease and desist from planning,

development and implementation of a school calendar until such time as we have negotiated to

agreement on these subjects.”1 However, such a demand is contrary to established case law.

The Public Employee Relations Board (“PERB”) has held that adopting a tentative school

calendar for the purposes of establishing dates of student attendance is permissible. See San Jose

Community College District (1982) PERB Decision No. 240. As we have indicated previously,

and as we reiterate here, the UCLA Lab School will meet and negotiate a side letter with the UC-

AFT in good faith. However, that does not require that the Lab School postpone issuing a

tentative school calendar for the 2022-2023 academic year. This letter serves as notice that the

Lab School will move forward and publish the tentative 2022-2023 academic year calendar.2

In addition, the University is not in agreement with the UC-AFT’s position on topics that are

subject to bargaining. In your March 8 correspondence, you note that “[w]hether or not the

University is proposing a change [regarding work days] from last year is not relevant and does

not mitigate the obligation of the University to negotiate these subjects.” However, PERB has

ruled directly otherwise. Specifically, in San Jose Community College District, the tentative

calendar adopted by the District replaced 15 training days with teaching days. See San Jose

Community College District (1982) PERB Decision No. 240. PERB found that the District’s

substitution of training days for teaching days did not affect a matter within the scope of

representation because “there [was] no evidence in the record to indicate that the District's actions

required certificated personnel to work more days, nor did it lengthen the working day,

increase the number of working days per year, or affect the distribution of workdays.” Id. at 10.

Here, the circumstances are the same. The 2021-2022 Academic Calendar included 173

workdays for Lab School Demonstration Teachers.3 The tentative 2022-2023 Academic

Calendar also proposes 173 workdays.4 Thus, the Lab School has not increased the number of

working days in the academic year and this subject is not considered a matter within the scope of

representation.

Finally, we are not available to meet on Thursday, March 31, 2022, but will reach out with

available bargaining dates shortly. The UC-AFT’s time constraints, specifically limiting all

bargaining sessions to take place after 4:30 PM, has posed some challenges that we are working

to resolve and to ensure a time that works for all parties involved. Thank you very much for your

patience.

Sincerely,

Kim

......................................

Apr 7, 2022, 10:45 AM
Dear Kim,

I write once again to assert our right to negotiate the work calendar as a mandatory subject for Demonstration Teachers at the Lab School. Under PERB precedent, a school calendar is negotiable insofar as it relates to the work of the employees, including beginning and ending dates, summer vacation and holidays. See Davis Joint Unified School District (1984) PERB Decision No. 474.
 

Your communication of March 24 relies on irrelevant precedent (San Jose) to assert that the proposed calendar is not negotiable because it is "tentative" and for the purpose of establishing student attendance dates. In fact, the tentative Lab School calendar clearly establishes faculty work hours along with student attendance dates. In Compton Community College District (1990) PERB Decision No. 790 and Poway Unified (2001) PERB Decision 1430, the board held that a tentative calendar can be published to the extent that it is made clear that the tentative calendar is a proposed calendar, that there is a clear indication that the final calendar is subject to negotiations, and that negotiations are ongoing or scheduled. Merely referring to the calendar as "tentative" while refusing to negotiate and proceeding with plans to publish the calendar is a failure to bargain in good faith.
 

More recently, in Pasadena City College Faculty Association (2015) PERB Decision No. 2444, PERB held that the District's simultaneous adoption of both a student attendance calendar and faculty-employee working hours calendar left no room for post-implementation bargaining over faculty-employee working hours.

The university and the Lab School cannot establish an operational necessity that would allow unilateral implementation at this point in time because there is ample time for negotiation before the next school year and there is no financial emergency requiring the publication of the calendar at this time. See Oakland Unified School District (1994) PERB Decision No. 1045 and Calexico Unified School District (1983) PERB Decision No. 357.

In the absence of negotiation and agreement on the details of faculty work hours and/or on a process for jointly establishing the school calendar, publication of the calendar in its current form will constitute a failure to bargain in good faith and a unilateral change. The calendar is changed in various ways from previous school calendars, including an increase in the number of faculty work days and elimination of unassigned days and PD days. These changes are not limited to a redistribution of existing work and they will result in an increase in work for our members. The tentative calendar is also incomplete and does not show required prep days in August.

Once again, implementation of the calendar without first negotiating in good faith will constitute a unilateral change and failure to bargain in good faith, it will deny UC-AFT the right to represent bargaining unit employees in their employment relations with the university, and it will interfere with the right of bargaining unit employees to be represented by their union.

We believe that we have a common interest in establishing a school calendar for next year along with a process for establishing calendars in future years. Commencing negotiation on these topics now and reaching agreement quickly will be the least disruptive way forward for the entire school community and, we believe, will achieve the best possible outcome going forward.

Please immediately cease and desist publication of the tentative school calendar and send us times when the university and Lab School administrators are available to bargain.

Sincerely,

Bill Quirk
Executive Director, UC-AFT

.....................................

Wed, Apr 13, 12:56 PM (12 days ago)

Dear Kim,

In your last communication on March 24, you said that your team was not available on our proposed date of March 31 and that you would get back to us shortly with dates. It's been three weeks and we haven't heard from you.

Our bargaining team has teaching and work obligations every weekday until around 4pm. If the university is willing to agree to release time for a few days, and to provide full-day substitutes, we can agree to full-day bargaining sessions on those days. These substitutes would need to be from the outside; shuffling Demonstration Teachers around will not be adequate.

If the university will not agree to release time and substitutes, we are unfortunately limited to bargaining in the evenings after 4:30pm. We are open to scheduling the evening sessions on almost any day of the week. We'd prefer to set a standing weekly meeting so that we can all commit to a timely and efficient process.

It has been more than two months since we issued our demand to bargain and offered dates when we could meet. So far, the university has not offered any dates. Please let me know before Friday of this week when we can expect your side to be ready to begin negotiations.

Thanks.

Bill