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Unresolved: How to Bargain Equitably, Safely, and Transparently


The University has hired an outside lawyer, Sandy McDonough, to lead the UCLA Lab School side letter negotiations. Hiring an outside lawyer is highly unusual, costly, and inefficient because they do not understand the needs of the lab school. Our desire is to have a collaborative and efficient process with Lab School administrators who share our interest in providing the highest quality education for Lab School students. Neither Geffen Academy nor Preuss School UCSD (other UC PreK-12 schools) had negotiations led by an attorney outside the University’s Office of Labor Relations.


On July 28, in a message to Bill Quirk, Executive Director of UC-AFT, Ms. McDonough communicated that she and the UCLA Lab School Administration Bargaining Team “insist on in-person sessions” that will not be open to the whole UCLA Lab School community.


All UC-AFT negotiating sessions in the past four years, however, have been open Zoom sessions, including those of Geffen Academy and Preuss School UCSD. In-person meetings while there is a high community level of Covid-19 transmission is irresponsible and jeopardizes having healthy teachers to set up classrooms and welcome children at the beginning of the school year. Providing safe and equitable access to this process is aligned with UCLA’s values.


Ms. McDonough also indicated that the University is willing to negotiate on “non-waived mandatory subjects of bargaining,” but has not indicated what subjects she considers non-waived. This creates confusion about whether the University is willing to negotiate a full range of topics. Based on the history of negotiations and the University’s previous commitment to negotiate a side letter, UC-AFT Demonstration Teachers assert our right to negotiate all mandatory subjects of bargaining within the lab school side letter. We have informed the University of the articles we intend to open. Preuss School UCSD educators signed their Memorandum in summer 2020 and Geffen Academy signed theirs in Spring of 2022. Both schools negotiated a full range of subjects.


UC-AFT will be prepared with proposals on August 10 and we are eager to meet over zoom to safely negotiate a new MOU for Demonstration Teachers.


Stay Informed

Faculty at the lab school are committed to the well-being of our entire community and to providing high-quality learning experiences for all students. As we approach contract negotiations, we ask for your goodwill and support.

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.