On Strike

The public supports us.

Being on strike makes me proud. To see and hear the support of the public every morning on the picket line, I am further convinced L.A. teachers made the right choice to leave the classroom. It is not an easy choice for many single income teachers, but it is one of the reasons we are striking. Teachers should not have to live paycheck to paycheck when educating society's children.

But our strike is about more than that, and it seems the public is aware of what we have been concerned about for years. In the middle of one morning's picket session I realized that the education reformers had been so very wrong in what they were telling us. The public knows and understands that we know what's best for children in schools. They place their precious children in our hands to educate, and want us to do our job unencumbered by district edicts and structures that get in the way.

The public supports us.

Being on strike is not what I thought it would be. It is be…

UTLA House of Representatives Votes AGAINST Tentative Agreement

Report from LA Academy's Union Representatives:

Mr. Kelley, Mr. D'Lugo and I joined Mr. Mata at the UTLA House of Representatives meeting last night (4-1-09), and I have to tell you, we were all surprised by what we saw. And what, you ask, was that?

UTLA Representatives and Chapter Chairs ready to fight for our jobs!

When discussing the current tentative agreement between UTLA and LAUSD, multiple people stood up and stated things like:

"As long as one teacher is in danger of losing his/her job, we cannot vote to approve this agreement!"

"We will not vote yes on this contract while 4,000 of our brothers and sisters are in danger of losing their jobs!"

"If we vote for this contract, not only will we be making it easier to lay off 4,000 mostly new teachers, but the next time, they'll be coming for the veteran teachers."

These comments literally caused the room to ERUPT in applause. I am not exaggerating.

What does this mean for us Rifters (and supporters)?

It means we have many, many union brothers and sisters prepared to fight (and yes, strike) for us to keep our jobs. The UTLA House of Representatives voted AGAINST the new tentative agreement, in large part because of the pending layoffs. But the only way we can win this fight is if we join in it. We cannot wait for the union to do it for us. We are the union. We must be active participants in our own rescue.

How can we do this?

We can make sure we get out in numbers to leaflet every Friday morning and Wednesday afternoon to make our parents and community aware of what's happening. We can talk to our colleagues about joining us. And finally, we can make sure everyone votes YES to authorize the one-day protest strike in May.

This is not going to be an easy fight, but it was truly inspiring to see how many people are on our side. If we mobilize and get out there, we can make something happen.

Remember, the only power we have is together! So, let's join together, flex our collective muscle, and overturn these layoffs!

(on behalf of the Rifters)


  1. Thank you for creating this Blog! This is great. I also read your letter and was very inspired. Over at Santee Ed. Complex we held a one hour strike on March 27th. Even though it was not an official UTLA wide action, we felt it important to take action anyways. We got great press coverage. Please click on the link below for a You Tube video and Pictures.




    Let's continue to fight this struggle together. Our Children's future is at stake!

  2. You must see this link!!! It is a UCLA study that proves you are right. Cuts hurt inner city schools the hardest.



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