News Update

Los Angeles teachers union reelects Cecily Myart-Cruz as president amid negotiations

Cecily Myart-Cruz will serve a second three-year term as president of United Teachers Los Angeles after garnering three-fourths of the membership vote in a recent election. Her reelection at the powerful union comes as UTLA pressures the Los Angeles Unified district in contract negotiations for raises, smaller class sizes and more academic and mental health support for students. 

Myart-Cruz, a former elementary and middle school teacher, will continue to lead the union’s 35,000 teachers, counselors, librarians and nurses during disputes with the district over its use of funds and its response to the pandemic’s impact on teachers and students. To combat high inflation and cost of living, the union is pushing for a 20% raise over two years. UTLA has also positioned itself alongside community advocates pushing to defund the district’s police department and direct more support services toward Black students.

Myart-Cruz’s opponents, Leonard Segal and Greg Russell, are both substitute teachers within the district and followed behind her with 16.6% and 7.9% of the vote, respectively. Both say the union hasn’t been doing a good enough job of listening to its members.

UTLA’s strong influence delayed the return to in-person classes after the pandemic pushed classes online. In October, pressure from the union over LAUSD’s decision to extend the school year caused the district to change its plans. UTLA filed a complaint and threatened to boycott, arguing the district did not bargain with its labor unions.

LAUSD also is currently in negotiations with SEIU Local 99, which represents nearly 30,000 custodians, special education assistants and other essential employees. The workers union has declared an impasse and voted to authorize a strike if it does not reach an agreement with the district.

Election results still need to be certified by the UTLA board.

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