Unvaccinated LAUSD employees demand return of old jobs – Daily News
A group of parents and teachers opposed to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s COVID-19 staff vaccination requirement gathered outside district headquarters on Friday, On April 15, to demand that officials drop the mandate and allow unvaccinated employees to return to campuses to help address staffing shortages.
The press conference came in response to LA school report coverage of LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s plan to reassign 400 administrators or other district employees to classrooms to fill teaching vacancies.
The plan reported by Carvalho is particularly vexing to some former and current employees who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 earlier this school year and were fired, furloughed or reassigned to teach in the independent study program. online from LA Unified. At least 600 staff have been laid off so far, but it’s unclear how many were classroom teachers.
Francis Calderon, who previously taught kindergarten special education students at Willow Elementary in South Gate, said being relegated to teach in the district’s online program made her feel “humiliated”. Employees are increasingly expected to do clerical work and paperwork after teaching just three hours a day, she said.
“It’s not a real teaching job,” Calderon said of her current assignment.
“We are teachers. We are not the secretaries,” she said, noting that “you have teachers who want to come back” and teach in person.
The state’s teacher shortage problem predates the pandemic. But due to burnout and other issues, this situation only made got worse.
People gathered outside LAUSD headquarters on Friday expressed frustration that district officials would rather appeal to administrators — who they say might not be interested or haven’t taught in years — rather than teachers who aren’t. vaccinated who were expelled and eager to once again stand before the students.
“I miss my students. I miss my students,” said Tom Farley, who taught at Sutter Middle School in the San Fernando Valley. The former US Marine said it is his choice and the choice of others not to be vaccinated, and that those who have been vaccinated should “have confidence in your vaccine. Do not be afraid.
About 25 adults, along with their children, attended the event organized by two groups, Los Angeles Educators & Parents United and California Educators for Medical Freedom. The latter is suing the district for its vaccination mandate.
Carvalho did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the groups’ press conference. The neighborhood is on spring break this week.
However, school board member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said instead of a formal ‘reassignment’ of staff members as teachers, the district may call for a ‘temporary deployment’ to deal with the crisis. of staff, the same way he handled the 2019 teachers’ strike and the omicron variant push that forced many workers to stay home in January.
She said the number of staff that can be assigned to classrooms could be less than 400.
“Priorizing strong and stable teaching in the classroom is the right decision, and the effectiveness of this approach will greatly depend on how it is communicated to staff and implemented,” she said. “Everyone wants to do what’s best for students – that’s why we’re in public education – but there are likely to be emotions, questions and concerns that need to be answered.”
Ortiz Franklin said she doesn’t think staff changes will happen as soon as students return from spring break on Monday because classroom staff need time to develop lesson plans. But she predicted the superintendent “will act quickly, especially since I and others have consistently advocated for a better staffing solution for children.”
The teachers’ union said this week that it had not been told by the district that any of its members would be affected. In addition to teachers, United Teachers Los Angeles represents counselors, librarians, nurses, and other certified employees.
UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement that the fact that the district “must resort to filling classroom vacancies” with other staff illustrates the need for better conditions. of work.
“We need to support our students with stability and investment, so this is a priority for UTLA educators who voted 96% to address in negotiations what it will take to attract and retain educators for a unprecedented shortage that has reached an emergency level,” she said.
The District and UTLA are preparing to begin a new round of negotiations soon. The teachers’ current contract is due to expire at the end of June.