Just three days before a planned one-day strike by L.A. Unified's teachers union, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge blocked the job action, saying it would violate the union's contract. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: If allowed to proceed, L.A. Unified lawyers argued, the teachers strike would have disrupted testing and caused irreparable damage to students. Lawyers for United Teachers Los Angeles countered that the school district's scenario was exaggerated and that the strike would be an appropriate way to protest thousands of planned teacher layoffs.
L.A. Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines said he was pleased the judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the strike. Cortines called for an end to the friction over budget cuts.
Ramon Cortines: I have already called Mr. Duffy and reached out, and said that we need to be sitting down and meeting and trying to resolve the issues.
Guzman-Lopez: Union president A.J. Duffy attended a teachers' protest rally outside school district headquarters. He wouldn't say what next step he recommends.
A.J. Duffy: We will be discussing it tonight with our board of directors and our officers and our general counsel, and we'll determine what future steps we'll be taking.
Guzman-Lopez: Duffy and the union are faced with a decision to accept the ruling, appeal it, or move forward with the strike and face the consequences of violating a court order. First-year special education teacher Jessica Kochick has already made up her mind.
Jessica Kochick: A strike is effective if everyone does it, right? So if we all go on strike anyway in spite of the court injunction that would be very powerful. If five people go on strike that won't be powerful.
It's an obvious scare tactic. They're trying to scare us, so will it work or not, that's what we have to find out. So we're going to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't work and I plan on striking on Friday.
Guzman-Lopez: Union leaders said they plan to address the membership tomorrow.