Thursday, January 10, 2019

Analyzing why the Los Angeles School District is headed for a January 2018 Teacher's Strike they may not be able to avoid.

There is a lot of posturing going on in regards to the LA Unified School District Strike. Both sides are claiming the other side is not negotiating in a sincere manner. And, as is usually the case when unresolvable conflicts occur, both sides are telling the truth.
Since I probably won't be invited to help mediate nor be asked for my opinion, I will post it here for you, my readers. We can have a chuckle knowing what we know and how to resolve the Strike issue, while also knowing what is shared here won't get back to the very people who might possibly be able to use the information to resolve the Strike Talks.

Issue Number one, Teachers want a 10% pay raise, the District is offering 6%. The problem is this is not the problem. The real problem is class room size. Class room sizes have apparently been increasing for quite a while and now I am reading claims of between 35 to 50 children in a class when most people seem to think that 25 to 30 is the ideal maximum. 30 students is not the ideal amount, it is the ideal amount that is considered the ceiling for creating the type of class room size a Teacher can work with.

So here's the Problem, how does the School District quantify reducing class sizes that are 35 to 50, back down to 25, and still give LA Unified a Raise? The answer is, the Teacher's Union appears to be saying that class size must be reduced, and it can have no bearing on the amount of their raise. What is throwing off the Teacher's Bargaining position is their belief that their raise is completely irrelevant to Class Size, yet they want significantly smaller class sizes.

If we could get a Math Teacher to create a Mathematical equation that would correlate the value of classroom size reduction to the size of the Teacher's pay raise, maybe progress could be made. Why not involve some Math Teachers and have them analyze the numbers?

The additional issue being argued is there is a 2 billion dollar savings account that could be going towards resolving the present salary and class size dispute. California has had a bi-polar attitude towards Donald Trump. The first year Trump was in office the Stock Market exploded, and suddenly the very Democrats who denounced Trump were crowing about a boon in their State Pension reserves, which were caused by Donald Trump led Stock Market skyrocketing. Trump's second year wasn't so good for the Stock Market, and reality has quickly set in to be extra careful when it comes to Pension Savings Accounts since the Stock Market can crash and wallow after a record number of years of expansion.

If 6% is the maximum raise allowed, I would suggest go to 7%, and then subtract 1% for every 3-4 kids a class room is reduced by. This would put the raise at around 4.5% with about 10 less kids per classroom, 25 students with a cap of 40 kids, then, to add more goodwill, drop the Maximum cap to 30 to 32. This is both sides giving in. The teachers get a 4.5% raise, classrooms that were 35 to 50 will be reduced to 25 to no more than 30 to 32 max, meaning a reduction in Maximum students in a classroom from 10 to 20 students.  AND, I would add 500 dollars to 1,000 dollars a year stipend per teacher for purchases for items that Teachers end up paying for on behalf of their students. Plus with the reduced class size there is an even better chance that teachers won't be buying anything for their kids out of their own pocket. And yes, full time Nurses, AND roving Teacher's Assistants (within the same school)  for Special Ed classes, absolutely. This would also give the school some additional supervision in the hallways as the Rovers travel to different classrooms to help out as needed.

When we add all of this up it does a pretty decent job coming close to what both sides are trying to achieve. For a 1.5% pay raise reduction, the Teachers get manageable sized classrooms, a 4.5% pay raise, and a 1,000 dollar a year supplemental supplies stipend. What do you think?

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