Myart-Cruz, UTLA up to their familiar, destructive tricks again
Don’t blame the Freedom Foundation. We’ve gone on record many times over the years to expose United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) President Cecily Myart-Cruz and her scheme to use the union as the vehicle to advance a radical, socialist, anti-Semitic political agenda rather than advocate on behalf of teachers – let alone students.
But in 2022, she was re-elected with a 75 percent majority to another term. And right on schedule, she’s teamed with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to involve her own union’s members in a three-day strike starting on March 21 that the far-left Los Angeles Times characterizes as the “largest and longest full disruption of education in the nation’s second-largest school system since the six-day teachers’ strike of 2019.”
The strike is being orchestrated by SEIU 99, which represents about 30,000 bus drivers, teacher aides, campus security aides, special education assistants, custodians, gardeners and cafeteria workers. Myart-Cruz has encouraged UTLA’s 35,000 teachers, nurses, counselors, therapists and librarians to join the walkout.
SEIU is seeking a whopping 30 percent across-the-board wage raise for its workers, while the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) says it has offered a 10 percent raise up front, along with another 9 percent to be phased in over time.
“Despite LAUSD having one of the largest school budgets and largest reserves in the nation, teachers and essential school workers are struggling to support their own families and live in the communities they work for,” Myart-Cruz said in a statement last week. “To add insult to injury, the district has chosen to violate their legal rights as workers, resulting in an unfair labor practice strike.”
Predictably, Myart-Cruz’s economics triangulations ignore the reality that LAUSD isn’t a private company whose budget and revenue are tied to profits. In fact, the district is funded by the county’s residents – all of whom are already burdened by usurious local taxes, to say nothing of the economic mayhem inflicted at the state level by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
It would be very interesting to find out how many of the private-sector taxpayers to whom Myart-Cruz envisions sending the bill for a 30 percent raise have been the recipient of anything resembling such a windfall.
But, of course, teacher pay is just a starting point for someone who, in a 2020 interview, asserted, “The union has to be about social justice.”
In this instance, the union’s sweeping list of bargaining priorities takes in such issue as funding for the Black Student Achievement Program, specifics on organizing the district, building affordable housing for low-income families, environmental justice, healthy food, trauma-informed teaching, techniques for de-escalation of conflict and increased access to ethnic studies.
And yet Myart-Cruz has the gall to claim it’s all about the students.
This is the same woman who shrugged off the educational devastation wrought by the nearly two-year COVID-related school closures by asserting, “(I)t’s OK that our babies may not have learned all their times tables … they learned resilience. They learned survival.”
Whatever else the looming strike may be about, for Myart-Cruz and her allies at SEIU 99, it was never about the workers, students or their parents. It’s about the larger goal of imposing by bullying, blackmail and backroom deals a failed political philosophy they know would be rejected at the ballot box in loony California.