November 15 | EdWeek

By Stephen Sawchuk

A collection of Los Angeles teachers plans to force a vote among the district's teaching corps that, if passed, would require their union to advocate for "teacher-led" changes to the teacher-evaluation system--and for a moratorium on layoffs while it's implemented.

The teachers, part of a coalition called "Teachers for a New Unionism," are making use of a provision in United Teachers Los Angeles' constitution that allows for a bargaining-unit-wide referendum if 500 signatures are gathered. Today, they'll be turning over some 630 signatures to UTLA President Warren Fletcher.

Once the signatures are certified by the union, a process they estimate could take a week or more, the question would be put to the full membership. If it passes, the resolutions would override existing UTLA policies on these issues.

"What we are attempting to do is fully democratize our own union from within," James Encinas, a teacher at Westminster Elementary School who'll be delivering the signatures, said in a release. "We are tired of watching our leaders fail to truly listen and lead on reform issues."
 

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