LOS ANGELES, November 20 — The LA teachers’ union and the board of education are in endless negotiations. Superintendent Brewer has sent out a memo to all employees saying that “without substantial, systematic, responsible District-wide cuts and help from Sacramento, Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD) will not be able to make payroll by the end of the school year.” They have instituted a freeze on field trips and purchases of school supplies. Brewer demands sacrifice from teachers: a sacrifice of our families’ health benefits, of the reduction in class size won last year, of a cost-of-living increase. He says, “Crises demand focus and unity of purpose” — while he’s making $300,000 a year, we should take these cuts lying down.
The bosses’ economy is in crisis, the inevitable result of the capitalist system, a crisis that leads inevitably to depression and world war among rival imperialists. (See article, page 8.)
Billions are spent on oil wars, and to bail out bankers while we face deeper attacks on clinics, libraries, schools and the community college, state college and University of California system.
A system that removes hard-working people from their homes and jobs and cuts back education and healthcare while increasing spending on cops, prisons and the military must be destroyed!
The sellout union leadership moans about the crisis and tells us not to expect too much! Their plan is “Faxing the Facts” of district waste to the Board of Education. They say nothing about mobilizing the members to join with students and parents to fight the district’s blatant attack on the working class to pay for the bosses’ crisis!
At local area meetings we said “organize for a strike: we shouldn’t have to pay for the bosses’ crisis” and received a lot of support. Many teachers were disgusted by the union leaders’ passivity, and spoke so strongly that a union leader at one meeting was forced to pretend to support a strike as well. We said that understanding the nature of the crisis and the failure of the capitalist system will give teachers and other workers the understanding and commitment to fight for their class. During this crisis we’ve increased CHALLENGE distribution to teachers, staff and students, and linked the need for a strike to the need to build the long-term struggle for workers’ power.
In organizing with students against these cutbacks, we’re building unity between students and teachers. The union plans a picket line on December 10 at the local district offices to expose the district’s waste. We’re encouraging students and teachers to go to these rallies to fight for a strike against the cutbacks and for a long-term struggle for communist revolution. The main victory is the unity and confidence to build a struggle against the whole capitalism system which means getting closer to putting an end to capitalism once and for all and building a new, communist world.