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FAQs for Supporting Demonstration Teachers at UCLA Lab School


Who are Demonstration Teachers?
Demonstration Teachers are all of the classroom teachers (which includes Specialists). Apprentice Teachers and Teaching Assistants (TAs) are not Demonstration Teachers.


What are the issues?
Demonstration Teachers are members of the UC-AFT Bargaining Unit 18 which includes UC lecturers. Demonstration Teachers at the lab school have different needs and job responsibilities than university lecturers.

Past practice has been for lab school Demonstration Teachers to have a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that addresses the needs of teachers who teach elementary school-aged children.

UC Management is not following past practice by refusing to negotiate anything other than compensation.

These negotiations are NOT all about compensation - UC Management is legally obligated to negotiate other topics. Please read “What Teachers are Proposing and Why” for information on every one of our proposals.

Why are Demonstration Teachers striking?
Demonstration Teachers are striking because UC Management and lab school administrators have committed unfair labor practices (violations of labor law) by refusing to negotiate mandatory subjects of bargaining and making unilateral changes to working conditions. Our strike is not an economic strike; it is an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike. You can read the Public Employment Relation Board’s Complaint which alleges UC Management has committed unfair labor practices.


Is it legal for Demonstration Teachers to go on strike?
While it is true that the main Unit 18 contract contains a no-strike clause, that clause does not apply to these negotiations, and Demonstration Teachers retain our legal right to strike based on unfair labor practices. Please read this “cease and desist letter”, which explains the legal basis for our strike and demands that the administration stop threatening discipline by characterizing our strike as illegal.


Are a majority of Demonstration Teachers union members calling for this strike?
Yes. Nearly every Demonstration Teacher is a union member (over 96%). Nearly every Demonstration Teacher voted in our strike authorization (over 96%). The vast majority of teachers voted to authorize the strike.


Are Demonstration Teachers refusing to enter mediation with UC Management?
In contract negotiations, mediation happens when the parties have reached an impasse (both sides have offered their last and best offer). We have not reached an impasse in these negotiations. Both parties are currently negotiating compensation, and Demonstration Teachers continue to present proposals on a comprehensive set of issues. We are ready to schedule more bargaining sessions at which we hope UC Management will bargain in good faith. Families can support teachers by encouraging the administration to negotiate in good faith over a comprehensive MOU. See sample letter below.


Why does pupil-free time for planning, preparation, and professional development matter?
In the past, our school calendar has included 19 preparation, planning, and professional development days. Management’s proposal and the calendar they have imposed on us this year only includes 8 days. Preparation days allow teachers to set up classrooms, write ESRs (report cards), and prepare for and conduct parent conferences. Planning days give teachers time to plan curriculum with their teaching teams, level teams, and support staff. Some of these days are used for whole-school or whole-faculty professional development which also positively impacts students. Most importantly, teachers at our school routinely plan for many hours each week after school and on weekends.

How can I support the Demonstration Teachers?
Family and community members can help support teachers by doing the following:

1. Families can exert their influence by contacting UC Administrators to demand that teachers at the lab school have an opportunity to negotiate a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) just as the educators at Geffen Academy UCLA and The Preuss School UCSD (other K-12 UC schools). Here is a sample letter you can use when contacting the UC Administrators below.


2. Sign our petition

3. If UC Management continues to refuse to negotiate a comprehensive MOU, please join us at the picket line on Wednesday, January 25th and/or Thursday, January 26th.


Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Darnell Hunt (and former lab school parent)

Phone: (310) 267-4304



Dean of The Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Tina Christie (and current lab school parent)

Phone: (310) 825-0432



Superintendent of PreK-12 Operations, Devin Serrano (previously Dillon)

Phone: (310) 206-8195



UCLA Lab School Principal, Georgia Lazo

Phone: (310) 825-1557


Can families and students picket with teachers?
Yes! Families and students can join and picket with teachers on Wednesday, January 25th and/or Thursday, January 26th. You may leave and come as you wish. You can pick up a blue UC-AFT shirt on the picket line or wear your own blue shirt. If you’d like to stand in solidarity with us, please sign up!


Should I and/or can I bring my child to school?
School will remain open. Just as we appreciate your support, Demonstration Teachers support whichever decision you make about your children’s school attendance during the two strike days.


Can I bring homemade signs for the picket line?
Please join us on the picket line and we will make signs together on Wednesday, January 25th and/or Thursday, January 26th.


If I’m unable to picket with Demonstration Teachers, is there something else I can do?
Yes! We understand that many families may not be able to or wish to picket, and they still support excellent teaching and learning conditions at the lab school. Families can pick up and deliver food in the mornings and afternoons to the Demonstration Teachers on Wednesday, January 25th and/or Thursday, January 26th. Please sign up!


Where can I get updates about negotiations?

Our UC-AFT blog has information about the history of our negotiations

Sign up here for direct updates from UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers


Is there something I can read to my child to help them understand what a strike is and why/how it can affect change?
These picture books are a great start (click on the link for a video read aloud):


Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markle

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type By Doreen Cronin

Clic Clac Muu Vacas Escritoras (Spanish edition) By Doreen Cronin

The Day the Crayons Quit By Drew Daywalt

El día que los crayones renunciaron (Spanish edition) By Drew Daywalt

Memphis, Martin, and The Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan

On Our Way to Oyster Bay: Mother Jones and Her March for Children’s Rights by Monica Kulling

¡Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. (in English) by Diana Cohn

¡Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. (in Spanish) by Diana Cohn