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News Update

L.A. Unified teacher’s union, UTLA, opposed to district approval of shorter winter break

This post has been updated to include comment from Los Angeles Unified School District.

This week, Los Angeles Unified School District approved instructional calendars that include a two-week winter break, down from 3 weeks — a move that the teacher’s union, United Teachers of Los Angeles, are opposed to and now rallying against.

In tweets posted since the calendar approval, the union has highlighted the results of a survey that showed parents of L.A. Unified students opposed the switch to a two-week break. The union alleged the school board is “pushing an illegal calendar change,” since “calendar changes are mandatory subjects of bargaining,” according to a tweet posted Wednesday.

In a press release, the district announced the calendar approvals are for school years 2023-26.

“The new instructional calendars address the need to mitigate learning loss by shortening the winter recess and extending options for summer programming,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho in the press release.

In an email, a district spokesperson said they have made themselves available for bargaining regarding the calendar change.

“In response to the latest Unfair Practice Charge from United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the development and approval of the instructional calendar is at the sole discretion of the Superintendent and the Board of Education, and the Board voted unanimously to adopt the 2023-26 instructional calendars,” the district spokesperson wrote in the email to EdSource. “However, prior to the approval of the instructional calendar, Los Angeles Unified held two meetings with labor partners to discuss the impacts on employee work hours regarding the instructional calendar and the District’s recommendation to shorten the winter recess. UTLA sent a representative to only one meeting and failed to send a representative to the other meeting. The District has been, and continues to be, available to bargain the effects of the amended calendar with UTLA, and recently offered an additional meeting to bargain the effects of the amended calendar, but UTLA did not respond to the invitation.”

UTLA, however, disagrees.

“LAUSD’s rash decision to ignore the input from educators and parents and disrupt next year’s school calendar speaks to this administration’s lack of willingness to engage in good faith with the people most impacted. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the district has bypassed families and staff. When the district attempted to add four optional school days last year, teachers, parents, and students spoke out and demanded the district cancel the unilateral calendar changes they made without bargaining,” said Arlene Inouye, who is part of UTLA’s bargaining team. “With the district pushing another illegal calendar change despite opposition from the community whilst in active bargaining with UTLA, we have no choice but to challenge this arbitrary development and ensure LAUSD rescinds this careless action.”