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Details: 10 furlough days for LAUSD admin would restore positions; bring assurances

Protesters gather in front of the LAUSD headquarters on South Beaudry Avenue in Los Angeles, Calif. File photo.
Protesters gather in front of the LAUSD headquarters on South Beaudry Avenue in Los Angeles, Calif. File photo.
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The tentative agreement between L.A. Unified and its administrators' union would restore 134 positions and save the district about $12 million in payroll costs, officials said today. 

The union's roughly 2,100 certificated members will vote this week through Saturday, said Associated Administrators of Los Angeles President Judith Perez. She said the 10 unpaid work days would break down in much the same way they have with other union agreements: five unpaid work days that shorten the school year, four unpaid non-work days, and the loss of a pupil free day. 

In exchange for such an agreement, Perez said the union has received "a separate written list of assurances" on issues its members had been working on for some time. These include providing administrators 20 days to respond to surveys issued by the district, rather than one or two days now, Perez said. She said that in June, for example, administrators were asked to respond to six surveys. 

Such an assurance is "recognition of peoples' very heavy work days and duties, and the fact that there's been a proliferation of surveys," Perez said. "There are many each month, and they take away from classroom observation and other duties."

Another "assurance" includes providing administrators with their new assignment and rationale for transfer in writing, Perez said. "This is to avoid the situation where people are just told 'tomorrow you report to XYZ School and there's no reason," Perez said.

In addition to restoring 134 positions, the agreement would allow another 170 administrators to remain on year-round schedules instead of being transferred to a shorter schedule, Perez said. The district would also retain 200 assistant principals who work with special education students.

Because of the district's opening of new schools and the reorganization of its regional headquarters' management, there will be 24 new school positions and 39 other administrative positions under the new structure.

All administrators receive preliminary pink slips each year and the numbers that are actually laid off vary. The union had 2,800 members three years ago, Perez said. Now it has roughly 2,100. "That's a significant cut in our ranks," she said.

If the agreement is approved by the union's members and the school board, this will be the fourth year in a row that administrators agree to take furlough days. Since 2009, they have taken 16 unpaid days, Perez said.

"For administrators the work doesn't decrease, it increases because of the fewer people to do the work," Perez said. "We all basically understand our job is 24/7, we're professional employees, we don't get paid on an hourly basis. So you come in during the evening and on weekends to get the job done. Because the job has to get done, whether you're getting paid for that day or not. During the furlough days, people in many cases...come to work anyway."

The vote will be tallied Saturday and its results announced to members Monday, Perez said.

"Our members work incredibly hard and they care deeply about the students of this district, and I so appreciate their willingness to sacrifice financially for the fourth year in a row in order to benefit the kids of this district, because what they're doing is not only saving jobs for their colleagues, but they're keeping programs for students."

For more background on the agreement read here.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).