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L.A. teachers union chief vows to fight possible layoffs

May 13, 2009 |  2:11 pm

The president of the Los Angeles teachers union said this afternoon that his union would change tactics after the court halted a planned one-day strike.

The union will abide by the court order because if teachers were to strike Friday, members would face $1,000 fines and risk losing their teaching credentials, said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Tuesday granted the Los Angeles Unified School District a restraining order prohibiting the strike.

Duffy said teachers instead will picket schools across the district before school Friday, and the union will hold a rally afterschool at the district's headquarters on Beaudry Avenue downtown. He said the union would engage in an act of civil disobedience, but he declined to specify exact tactics.

In addition, union leadership is discussing possibly launching recall campaigns against school board members who recently voted for a budget that could result in layoffs of more than 2,500 teachers.

About 2,600 non-teachers also could lose their jobs in a budget plan approved to close a deficit caused by a troubled state economy and declining district enrollment.

“We are not backing off on this fight,” Duffy said. “This is a situation we will not allow to stand.”

-- Howard Blume