10.26.22 Read Time: 2 min We Won’t Settle for Less By Cecily Myart-Cruz, UTLA President We are five months into contract negotiations with LAUSD, and the district’s game plan is clear: Offer a too-small salary raise hoping that, in the face of skyrocketing inflation, we will jump at it. Offer selective stipends and lower class sizes — but only to some educators and some schools to try to confuse and divide us. Refuse to negotiate on a broad spectrum of our demands so they don’t have to be accountable for student and community needs. And, all the while, LAUSD refuses to spend the $3.4 billion in reserves. It’s cynical and it’s offensive. They want to narrow the scope of bargaining; we want to expand it. They want us to think about schools as just our workplace; we want them to think about schools as institutions of the community. “The district does not feel the urgency we feel as educators who see our students struggle in class on a daily basis because their critical needs are not met.” Cecily Myart-Cruz UTLA President Our escalating actions — including the vibrant pickets on October 19 — are our message. We won’t settle for less than we deserve. We won’t settle for less than our students and communities need. Each one of the Beyond Recovery elements supports the other, and we need the full package in order to make lasting change in our schools. Pay Increases to Close the Educator Wage Gap Smaller Class Sizes and More Student SupportEnding Overtesting Equity for Schools and Communities Expansion of Community Schools and Targeted Supports We must fight for all of it. The district does not feel the urgency we feel as educators who see our students struggle in class on a daily basis because their critical needs are not met. Every student needs more individual support from educators who have 100% to give because they are not juggling two jobs or worried about paying rent. Every student deserves to use their school library.Every student deserves a nurse on their campus.Every student deserves time with their counselor.Every student deserves green spaces around them.Every student deserves housing.Every student deserves all that and so much more. And that is why we will continue to fight until we win a school district that sets students, families, and educators up for success inside and outside the classroom. We won’t settle for less. And — when we keep building our pow-er together — we won’t have to.