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UC-AFT Lab School Faculty COVID Effects Bargaining Fact Sheet


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Lab School Faculty Bargaining Fact Sheet
Nov. 30, 2020

Why are we bargaining for a COVID Effects Side Letter?
During this pandemic, our working conditions as Demonstration Teachers at UCLA Lab School have radically changed. Since March 2020, we shifted from 100% in-person to 100% remote instruction and we are also preparing for a hybrid model when conditions allow in-person teaching and learning to resume. The terms of our current contract are not sufficient. We need an addendum, or side letter, that addresses the specific circumstances of the pandemic, such as how many days teachers need to transition to in-person hybrid teaching and whether classrooms that don’t meet professional ventilation guidelines can be made safe for use While we know that many of these items are discussed and under general LA County guidelines, those are not all unilaterally required. We are seeking written contractual language that will ensure that important health and safety precautions and supports are present and enforceable.

What are we bargaining for?
The present negotiations are for a contract addendum, or side letter, that addresses COVID-19 and are separate from our general contract negotiations. At this time we are negotiating for a safe working environment and other supports needed to teach effectively during this time. This is NOT connected to negotiations for our main contract involving issues including compensation. UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers are not currently negotiating over compensation.

Some of the key points we are negotiating include:

  • Physical Distancing - Class areas and rooms provide 6 feet of physical distancing among students and teacher(s) or utilize non-porous barriers that meet Cal-OSHA guidelines.
  • Ventilation - Every room used for instruction must have functioning windows for the circulation of outside air. HVAC systems shall maximize outdoor air ventilation and shall be upgraded with filters with a rating of at least MERV 13. Portable HEPA machines will be provided for each classroom.
  • Face coverings - All students are required to wear a face covering unless exempted or when eating, napping, or engaging in compliant physical recreation.
  • COVID Testing - Ten days prior to a reopening date, the school will provide for free COVID testing for all staff, faculty, and students. Thereafter, the school shall offer weekly free COVID testing for all faculty, staff, and students.
  • Cleaning - A cleaning schedule shall ensure rooms and shared surfaces are sanitized and disinfected per county, state, and OSHA recommendations. Cleaning materials will be OSHA-approved products that are safe for children. Teachers will not be expected or assigned to clean.
  • Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Individuals - Isolation rooms for symptomatic individuals and for asymptomatic individuals who came in contact with a COVID-positive person will be designated per county, state, and OSHA guidelines. A bathroom will be designated for their use, when needed. Alternate location(s) shall be provided to remove students after a confirmed positive case in order to ensure full cleaning procedures are completed.
  • Nurse - There shall be one FTE nurse at each school site: Geffen Academy (Kinross), Lab School, and any additional University buildings that are used for classrooms.
  • Security and Emergency Plans - If the school uses off-campus locations (i.e., other facilities at UCLA), it shall provide a clear security and emergency plan to limit the presence of unaffiliated or unauthorized persons such that doors may be kept open. Staff will be given training about these security and emergency plans.
  • Returning to Remote Learning - If while providing in-person or hybrid instruction the school has three (3) or more new cases of COVID-19 within fourteen (14) calendar days, it will shift to all remote learning. To support the transition, the school shall provide three working days without students.

Who is part of the bargaining process?
UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers are part of the UC-systemwide bargaining unit for UC non-Senate faculty (Unit 18) who are represented by the UC-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). The bargaining process is being conducted by UC-AFT and University of California Labor Relations, under the UC Office of the President.

The UC Management team includes Superintendent Devin Dillon and GSEIS Associate Dean Jody Priselac and works in consultation with Principal Georgia Lazo. Although Principal Lazo has not attended bargaining since May, we have been assured that she is providing feedback on proposals.

In addition to the Lab School Demonstration Teachers, the UC-AFT team includes teachers at the Geffen Academy UCSD’s Preuss School, and lecturers from across the system. We are working closely together to ensure that the specific concerns of pre-K to grade 12 teachers are addressed.

When did bargaining begin?
Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to teach remotely with our students, UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers began negotiating a COVID-19 side letter at the local level with UCLA Labor Relations. After several meetings and months, the University stopped bringing proposals to the bargaining table. The school year ended without an agreement. In response, UC-AFT filed a complaint to the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). As of this writing, PERB has issued a complaint agreeing that UCLA Management did not bargain in good faith last Spring, in violation of California law.

UCLA Lab School Demonstration Teachers joined the current COVID-19 side letter negotiations that began in July, 2020. At UC Management’s request, these negotiations are systemwide (rather than specific to the Lab School). We continue to negotiate in good faith with UC Management and hope to reach an agreement soon.