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What Teachers are Proposing and Why


The purpose of this document is to help UCLA Lab School families understand what teachers are proposing in contract negotiations and why. There are two critical things to know before reading about our proposals. First, our strike is not related to a fight over compensation or over details of any of the proposals below. Our strike is due to UC Management and lab school administration refusing to bargain over anything but compensation while imposing changes to the calendar unilaterally. Second, we gave complete proposals to the lab school administration in August. To date, they have refused to respond to any of our proposals except compensation.

Demonstration Teacher Job Title Description (Article 5)

Our proposal provides a very brief and basic description of the Demonstration Teacher (DT) job title, which includes responsibilities in teaching and learning, research, and public engagement. This proposal is important because the current MOU does not articulate these core DT responsibilities.

Appointment, Reappointment, Continuing Appointment, and Merit Reviews

(Articles 7a, 7b, 7c, 22 and X)

Our proposals in these four articles outline the process, criteria, and timeline for “appointments” or assignments to levels and roles as Demonstration Teachers at our school. Our proposals also outline the process, criteria, and timeline for “merit reviews” or teacher evaluations at our school. Our proposal slightly modifies past practice to allow DTs to respond to evaluation feedback and grow as professionals. The articles are important because UCLA Lab School administration is now using the evaluation processes, criteria, and timelines designed for lecturers at the college level, which is nonsensical in an elementary school context. These proposals add no financial cost to Lab School. *Merit reviews have been included in previous MOUs.

Instructional Support (Article 8)

Our proposal for Instructional Support is that every classroom and Specialist have a TA. Currently, there are classrooms and specialists without TAs, which is inequitable for students and teachers across programs and classrooms. Our proposal also seeks to ensure Instructional Assistants positions are filled in a timely way to support neurodiverse children, it establishes the right to substitute coverage on days when DT’s are absent, and a timeline for installing functional heat and AC in classrooms. Finally, our proposal outlines classroom materials budgets consistent with past practice at the lab school.

Professional Development Funding (Article 9)
Our proposal would provide professional development funding for teachers to attend academic conferences, purchase professional texts, visit other laboratory schools, pay for ongoing courses related to teaching and learning, etc. Our previous MOUs have all included professional development funding provisions. The UC Management and the lab school’s refusal to include professional development funding in this contract is an egregious take away which undermines our ability to hone our professional skills, engage in best practices, and research “next” practices. *Professional development budgets have been included in previous MOUs.

Benefits (Article 11)

Our proposal puts a cap on the number of Demonstration Teacher’s children that can attend the lab school. It also outlines tuition support processes for Demonstration Teachers and seeks to stabilize tuition support for teachers from year to year. Losing tuition support is a very big concern for teachers who receive it.

Sick Leave and Personal Leave (Article 11)

Our proposal includes language about the amount of personal leave days Demonstration Teachers may take and memorializes past practice to notify administration when leave days are being taken. *Personal leave days have been included in previous MOUs.

Layoff, Reduction in Time, and Reemployment (Article 17)

Our proposal establishes a Lab School Peer Review committee that will work with the administration to evaluate special skills, knowledge, or ability that may be a factor in addition to seniority in the case that layoffs are necessary. This committee will ensure transparency in layoff decisions and reduce friction in the case layoffs should layoffs happen.

Reassignment (Article 19)

Our proposal establishes a very simple process of consultation and notification in the case administration decides to reassign a teacher from one class or level to another during the school year. Reassignment mid-year is a significant disruption and challenge. Notice and consultation will ease the process for all involved, including students in the affected classrooms.

Compensation (Article 21)

Our proposal seeks to provide cost of living increases in line with inflation and a salary scale that acknowledges continuing education and degree attainment, special skills and certifications and significant additional work expected for certain school activities. Dual Language DTs have lost $10,000 because lab school administration has refused to pay contractually agreed upon stipends since February 2020. Also, our current salary scale, and those of many districts, compensates teachers for taking courses related to education. Management’s proposal effectively removes this past practice. *Compensation has been included in previous MOUs.

Summer School (Article 23)

Our proposal seeks to establish a basic process and memorialize current practice around summer school teaching, including requests for summer teaching, leave days, and substitutes during summer school. DTs should have clear and consistent policy around summer school teaching so we can plan and prepare appropriately.

Union Rights (Articles 25 and 26)

Our proposals would establish a new employee orientation with our union and leave time for union business, including contract negotiations and grievances. It is essential that our Demonstration Teacher representatives in these processes have time to collaborate with school administrators on shared interests. As you can see from our proposal descriptions, the vast majority of our union contract is focused on working conditions that facilitate great teaching. We need to be partners with the administration in that effort.

Academic Calendar (Article 29)
Our proposal establishes a number of teacher work days and a number of instructional days for each year of our contract. We have proposed 164.5 instructional days this year and 181 teacher work days. In our proposal, the difference between instructional days and teacher work days is 16, which provides the minimum preparation and planning time Demonstration Teachers need to vertically articulate instructional and professional development goals, prepare responsive and excellent curriculum, and collaborate with the CST team members (Occupational Therapist, School Psychologist, Resource Specialist, etc.) to support ALL children.Research and public engagement teams also plan during this time Unfortunately, despite the fact that our union first asked to negotiate the calendar in February 2022, the administration refused to negotiate and imposed this year’s calendar unilaterally with only 8 planning days. *Aspects of the calendar have been included in previous MOUs.