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Lab School Faculty File Unfair Labor Practice for Bad Faith Bargaining


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UC-AFT teaching faculty at the Lab School filed an unfair labor practice charge against the University on Friday, May 20 for a failure to bargain in good faith. The excerpt below is from the opening paragraph of the charge. The full charge is available here.

This charge arises from the University’s failure to bargain with the Union over a side letter for bargaining unit members at the UCLA Lab School as well as the University’s unilateral implementation of the 2022-2023 school calendar. The University’s actions violate HEERA, Gov. Code Sections 3571(a), (b) and (c) by interfering with employee rights, by denying UC-AFT rights guaranteed to it under HEERA, and by failing and refusing to bargain in good faith over mandatory subjects.

In February 2022, UC-AFT informed Lab School and UCLA administrations of our intent to resume negotiations for the Lab School Demonstration Teacher contract. These negotiations were originally planned to begin in 2020 and they were delayed by mutual agreement due to COVID and COVID related negotiations.

Demonstration Teachers have proposed and requested bargaining dates five times since February 11 and the University has failed to respond with bargaining dates or even a timeline for beginning negotiations. These communications are documented in full here.

On April 25, 2022, two and half months after Demonstration Teachers asked to begin bargaining, the lab school sent the following message to the “UCLA Lab School Community,” regarding the 2022-2023 school calendar:

Each year, UCLA Lab School engages in a collaborative process with teachers to create the school calendar. During a typical year, the draft school calendar is created by the school and sent to the Dean and the Superintendent for approval. Last year, the 2021-22 school calendar was created with the COVID context in mind, which resulted in fewer instructional days for children. The intent in planning next year’s calendar was to increase instructional days to be in line with the 2020-21 school year, and to reflect the number of instructional days required of public schools by the California Department of Education. However, we are unable to change the number of instructional days for students without agreement with the UC-AFT, the union representing the Lab School Demonstration Teachers. Toward that end, we will soon begin bargaining with the UC-AFT on negotiable subject matter, including the number of instructional days for future school calendars.

In the meantime, in order to allow families and staff to plan for next school year, we are releasing the attached 2022-23 school calendar, which reflects the same number of instructional days for students as the 2021-22 calendar.

We recognize how important this matter is, and we want to assure you that we have the students’ best interest in mind during negotiations. If we are able to adjust the calendar for next school year as a result of negotiations later in the summer, we will update you accordingly. For now, please accept the attached calendar as a tool to plan the year ahead.

In the April 25 message to the school community, the lab school administration claims to have our students' best interest in mind. If this were true, the administration would  have commenced negotiations over the school calendar months ago. Instead, they decided to pit parents against teachers and use the students as pawns in contract negotiations. This move by the administration is disgraceful and it devalues and diminishes our entire community.  

Demonstration Teachers are committed to providing excellent instruction for our students and to cultivating a safe, transparent and thriving educational community. We understand our union and our union contract as one of the key mechanisms by which we support our students. We will not allow the administration to malign our values and interests or our professional organization.  We filed the unfair practice charge to hold the administration accountable to the standards we all expect for our community.

Please join us in demanding that Principal Lazo and the UCLA administration schedule bargaining sessions now and come to the bargaining table in good faith.