The Los Angeles teachers union announced on Thursday, June 10, that it has reached a tentative deal with LAUSD on safety protocols and other conditions for the 2021-22 academic year, which will see campuses reopen for full in-person learning five days week for the first time since the coronavirus began last year.
Superintendent Austin Beutner confirmed the proposed deal in a letter to Los Angeles Unified School District.
The proposed agreement is subject to ratification by more than 30,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles and would be effective beginning June 23. The Board of Education would also have to OK it.
The deal is not too different from the current agreement the union and district hashed out during the coronavirus pandemic to return to hybrid learning in the classroom and online. All students, staff and visitors will have to wear masks when on campus.
“This agreement addresses the urgent issues facing educators returning full time to classrooms and other assignments,” a statement from the union said. “We will use 2021-2022 contract reopener negotiations and our full contract campaign to fight for additional improvements and to make sure that the temporarily increased state and federal funding is put to good use to support the healthy, healing, racially just schools our students deserve.”
Union leaders have maintained a firm stance that protections should be in place for teachers and vaccinations available before they return to work in classrooms.
The agreement outlined by the union Thursday lays out several concrete protocols, such as COVID-19 testing requirements, daily symptom screening, mask requirements and sanitation.
The deal’s specifics, according to the union, include:
- Monthly inspections will be required of the district’s ventilation systems to make sure filters are working properly until at least Oct. 1;
- Classrooms and other areas on campus will be cleaned and disinfected daily;
- Masks will be required for students, staff and visitors, although this will be open for negotiation after Sept. 1;
- For those required to quarantine, paid leave will be provided;
- Physical distancing of at least three feet will be required;
- No displacement of any staff for the 2021-22 school year;
- Special education teachers assigned to special day programs will be maintained as long as classes have more than 50% enrollment; and
- Expanded online-only independent study programs.
In his letter to employees, Beutner said the district now has agreements in place with all of its labor unions.
“Our goal is to provide the best possible education for students in the safest possible environment,” he wrote, “and we’re giving schools the resources to make this happen.”