Results announced Friday show members of the union that represents 48,000 teachers and other L.A. Unified school employees approved a one-day strike to protest planned layoffs approved by school district administrators. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: United Teachers Los Angeles Treasurer David Goldberg said the vote's a rebuke of the school board and Superintendent Ramon Cortines's decision a couple of weeks ago to close a budget shortfall by laying off teachers.
David Goldberg: That one action, that one action by this group, of school board members and Cortines, means that we all have to take dramatic action to stand up to that.
Guzman-Lopez: First-year teacher Dipti Baranwal received a layoff notice. She said that compared to the long-term disruptions thousands of teacher layoffs might cause, the one-day strike wouldn't harm students much.
Dipti Baranwal: I didn't have any doubts about whether being away from them for one day was the day to do it. Because I think parents, and students, and teachers unified on this.
Guzman-Lopez: L.A. Unified administrators called the work stoppage irresponsible because it violates the teachers' union contract. Union leaders said they were up-front with their members. School district spokeswoman Lydia Ramos:
Lydia Ramos: We are reviewing our options right now. Again, we understand the frustration of our teachers – however, our students come first. Our students need our teachers in class every single day.
Guzman-Lopez: In a similar protest last year, thousands of teachers showed up to work one hour late. All sides in this dispute agree that a one-day strike would cause much bigger logistical problems.