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UC-AFT Response To UCLA Refusal to Bargain July 15, 2022



On June 21, Anthony Solana, Director of Labor Relations at UCLA, wrote to UC-AFT with an offer of bargaining dates in late July and August, if UC-AFT could establish a legal basis and obligation for the University to negotiate.  An offer of bargaining dates and negotiations that is couched in a refusal to bargain unless compelled to negotiate through legal argument, is nothing more than a refusal to negotiate. UC-AFT responded with the legal basis for a full scope of negotiations via the letter in this post.  We sincerely hope that UCLA will commence negotiations on a full side letter, in open (to the public) negotiations via Zoom on August 10.


July 15, 2022


Anthony Solana, Jr.

Labor Relations


Re: UCLA Lab School Negotiations


Dear Anthony,

This letter is in response to your June 21, 2022 letter regarding negotiation between the University and UC-AFT over the UCLA Lab School Side Letter.

On February 11, UC-AFT issued a demand to bargain over all mandatory subjects of bargaining at the Lab School, including the school calendar. School calendar was a focal point of the demand because the school was initiating the calendar planning process at that time. In all subsequent communications with the University, UC-AFT has maintained our right to negotiate the full range of mandatory subjects. Between Feb 11 and June 21, the University had not taken the position that it had no duty to bargain. In fact, every response from the University prior to your letter on June 21 indicated a willingness and intent to bargain over school calendar and other subjects. This record is well documented in communications with me regarding bargaining and in communications to the entire Lab School community regarding the establishment of a school calendar.

Feb 16, email from Bill Quirk to Kim Massih and Ulysses Aguayo:

“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.”

The university registered no objection to UC-AFT’s request to start bargaining with a sunshine process or to the suggestion that the scope of bargaining was not limited. This same email offered a standing weekly bargaining session on Thursdays, 4:30-6:30PM. All subsequent responses from the University indicated a willingness to negotiate without qualification or limitation beyond scheduling.

Feb 18, email from UCLA Labor Relations Representative, Marnie Phillips to Bill Quirk:

“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.”

March 24, letter from UCLA Labor Relations Representative, Kim Massih to Bill Quirk:

“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.”

And in closing of the letter, “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.”

April 25, Letter to School Community, co-signed by Georgia Lazo, UCLA Lab School Principal; Devin Dillon, Superintendent Pre-K Operations; and Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean, UCLA School of Education & Information Studies:

“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.”

It is extremely unfortunate that the University has now changed its position and explicitly refused to negotiate a full six months after our demand to bargain was placed. To be clear, UC-AFT understands that the University has offered to negotiate any “unwaived” subjects, while also asserting that all subjects have been waived. This is refusal to bargain. And, it’s an extension of the failure to bargain established by the University’s extended delay in setting bargaining dates.

The Office of the President understood that negotiation of a side letter for the Lab School would commence after the ratification of the new Unit 18 agreement and that the next side letter would include a broader range of topics than previously negotiated in order to align with the scope of the Geffen Academy and Preuss School memoranda.

Statement by Nadine Fishel, July 18, 2019, bargaining session at UC San Diego, in the context of discussion about which job titles should be included in Article 1--Recognition:

"The U has proposed this language and again it’s a bridge between recognition of the unit modification, the addition of the title and title code in recognition, and a brief description in description of unit titles. We anticipate that everything related to the K-12 instructors will be articulated in the side letter for Preuss or Geffen or the Lab School respectively, but we wanted a bridge to recognize that those titles are in the bargaining unit in the main body of the contract."

In your letter, you take the position that the University has no obligation to bargain a side letter for the Lab School because the Management Rights and Waiver articles in the main Unit 18 agreement are in effect. The history of negotiations over the Lab School Side Letter shows that the University and UC-AFT have repeatedly engaged in negotiations over a variety of subjects after the main agreement was settled and when the same management rights and waiver clauses were in effect. The timing and scope of previous side letters is clear evidence of this past practice.

Since at least 2011, the University has negotiated details of the school calendar with UC-AFT. See clauses 6 and 7 from the 2011 UCLA Lab School Side Letter below. This side letter was signed on December 20, 2011 and the main agreement went into effect two months before on October 17, 2011 and subsequently expired on June 1, 2015.

  1. Total instructional minutes will increase by thirty (30) minutes per day. The assignment of instructional minutes will vary depending upon the grade level. Instructional time shall take place between 8:00 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
  2. Demonstration Teachers will be entitled to two (2) unassigned, non-working days per academic calendar year-one in the fall, one in the spring-to be taken on pupil-free days and determined when the school calendar is set.

The 2014 UCLA Lab School Side Letter, signed in March 2014, explicitly acknowledged the practice of modifying the main agreement (2011-15) through Lab School Side Letter negotiations when the main agreement was in effect:

2. The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective October 17, 2011, (and revised by agreements reached at subsequent reopener bargaining) between the UC-AFT and the University of California, including benefits, but excluding Salary, apply to the Demonstration Teachers, as revised below.

The 2016 UCLA Lab School Side Letter, signed in October 2016, explicitly acknowledged the practice of modifying the main agreement through Lab School Side Letter negotiations when the main agreement is in effect:

  1. The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) effective February 29, 2016 between UC-AFT and the University of California, including benefits, but excluding salary, will apply to the Demonstration Teachers, as revised below.

Again, the history of negotiations over the Lab School Side Letter has been mutual agreement between the University and UC-AFT to negotiate terms and conditions for Lab School Demonstration Teachers and Substitute Teachers while the main contract was in effect. And, the scope of these negotiations has not been limited to Salary, which is explicitly carved out for separate negotiation in Article 21 of the main agreement. Previous Lab School Side Letters have language covering mandatory subjects of bargaining related to school calendar, professional development, substitute teachers, reappointment and merit reviews, leaves, compensation that is not salary, salary and duration.

To clarify our position as we enter these negotiations, UC-AFT contends that the expired 2016-2020 Lab School Side Letter remains in effect via status quo.

Based on this history of negotiations of the Lab School Side Letter, the understanding we have with UCOP as to the scope of negotiations, and the university’s previous commitment to negotiate a side letter, UC-AFT again asserts our right to negotiate all mandatory subjects of bargaining within the Lab School Side Letter. We intend to negotiate over terms that related to the following articles of the main IX agreement, though we reserve our right to engage other articles in the process:

Articles 5, 7a,b,c,d; 8; 9; 11; 12; 17; 19; 21; 22; 23; 24; 26; 29; 30; 40; X.

Sandy McDonough has now confirmed the University’s availability for negotiations on August 10, 11, 15 and 17 or 18. UC-AFT is available and committed to full day (9am-5pm) bargaining sessions on all of these days. We believe that we can reach an agreement within this window if the University comes prepared to do so.


Bill Quirk
Executive Director
UC-AFT Local 1474


Sandy McDonough

Georgia Ann Lazo

Devin Dillon

Christina Christie

Kim Massih

Cristina Paul

Christoper Wilson

Judith Kantor

Sylvia Gentile
Mia McIver

Tiffany Page