Curtain Falls on LA Mediation Theater; Act II: Fact-Finding!

As expected, three mediation sessions between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles failed to result in a settlement — or even any movement, apparently — so the state-appointed mediator agreed to move the process forward to its final phase, fact-finding.

Fact-finding doesn’t promise to go any better. Head over LA School Report to see how the 1989 strike is being replayed today.


Police Blotter

  • A tentative agreement was reached between Teamsters Local 251, which represents bus drivers for the Providence, Rhode Island, school district, and First Student, the bus company that contracts with the district. The deal ended an 11-day strike.

This is a good thing for a number of reasons, the first of which is the suspicious fire that broke out at the bus depot in wee hours last Thursday night. Six buses were heavily damaged, and one firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting the blaze.

The union released a statement condemning the property damage, and everyone is being very careful not to suggest that the strike had anything to do with the fire.

“She’s a lovely lady,” said her attorney.

The union released a statement saying, “We are saddened to hear of his arrest. We believe in the presumption of innocence, and will not comment on the charges against him at this point.”


Waiting to See How Many Union Presidents and Politicians Will Join This Picket Line

Dateline – AFL-CIO Headquarters, Washington, DC:

About 50 janitors, drivers, secretaries and accountants at the union’s offices in greater Washington, all represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), voted Tuesday to authorize a strike if their employer does not meet their demands.

The workers, two thirds of whom are older than 50, say the AFL-CIO offered them a new contract in September that included a three-year pay freeze, less reliable hours, cuts to sick leave and weaker seniority rights.

After they rejected those terms, the AFL-CIO notified them Monday it would impose the contract.

Another protest is scheduled for Tuesday. You can read the entirety of the AFL-CIO’s last, best and final offer here.


The Next Strike in Arizona May Be Against the Teachers’ Union

Last Friday we reported that the Kentucky Education Association, which helped organize walkouts and protests last spring, was having labor problems of its own coming to a collective bargaining agreement with its employees. Members of the staff union voted down a tentative agreement, claiming it rolled back benefits.

Today we’re hearing that Arizona, home of the #RedforEd movement, is also home of union staffer unrest. Employees of the Arizona Education Association are threatening to strike because of what they claim are unfair labor practices by union management.

Specifics are unavailable, but the main source of rancor also appears to be proposed benefit cuts.

Although teacher unions represent public employees, they are private organizations and therefore not subject to Arizona laws prohibiting strikes. Teacher union employees are governed by the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.