UTLA Continues to Organize for Power…Together
By David A. Goldstein, Esq.
The 2014-2015 school year was a busy one for United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) as they were in full organizing mode to support the Schools LA Students Deserve Campaign. As the UTLA Officer Team explained in their message to UTLA Leaders during their annual conference, together they organized members, parents, the community and political action. In their opinion, the involvement of tens of thousands of members and parents was the key.
"We are a more powerful union than we were a year ago," said UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl in his state of the union speech during the conference. "But, we must be a stronger union tomorrow than we are today because the challenges in front of us are greater and more dangerous than they were yesterday. We're all ready to continue building that power for the Schools LA Students Deserve, for a UTLA that stands for fairness, that fights for resources, that invests in itself for current and future fights. Make no mistake about it, it is not going to be easy, but we will do this in the same way we took every step last year—together."
Working together with teachers who have been injured on the job has been an ongoing effort for the attorneys at the law firm of Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein, LLP (GEK). Attending the conference enables GEK attorneys to meet with many members from throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District and discuss issues they may be facing as the result of a workplace injury. These issues have become increasingly challenging since 2012 with the passage of Senate Bill 863, which drastically effected medical treatment for injured workers in California.
There are many ways teachers can be injured at work—toxic schools, violence in the classroom and on or near school grounds, orthopedic and repetitive-use injuries…the list seems endless. We at GEK have spent decades representing teachers, and part of that connection has always been meeting with them at the annual conference. It is there where we get the full picture of how their organizing efforts go a long way toward the enhancement of their work environment and the improvements in the students' learning environment. We applaud them for all their efforts, and join them in their fight for educational, racial and social justice.