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L.A. school district seeks injunction to stop strike

May 5, 2009 |  8:01 pm

The Board of Education voted today to file a charge of unfair labor practices against the teachers union in hopes of winning a court injunction to stop a one-day strike planned for later this month.

"Teachers have a contractual obligation to be in our classrooms instructing students every day," Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said in a statement. "This work-stoppage action is not in the best interest of students. It is dangerous, illegal and irresponsible."

Leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles have acknowledged that the strike violates the union contract with the Los Angeles Unified School District. They said they called the strike to protest the impending layoffs of teachers who lack tenure protections as well as the more crowded classrooms and disrupted instructional programs that would result.

Separately, Cortines today rescinded notices of possible layoffs to all middle and high school math and science teachers. Through a spokeswoman, he cited his expectation that those teachers would have been eventually rehired.

"Mr. Cortines knows it’s a risk," said spokeswoman Lydia Ramos, "but he’s willing to take it. Math and science are such areas of high need."

The district’s action reduces the teachers at risk of being laid off from 3,477 to 2,526. About 2,000 non-teaching employees also face losing their jobs.

Last year, the district was unsuccessful in stopping a one-hour strike over protracted contract negotiations.

-- Howard Blume

Blume is twittering about budget woes in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Follow his updates: http://twitter.com/howardblume.