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FROM AN EDUCATOR'S PERSPECTIVE

Alliance Ordered to Cease Illegal Actions at its 27 Schools and to Explain Rights to Teachers and Staff

On Friday, June 3, 2016 an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled that Alliance interfered with our protected rights to organize our union by violating the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA), which is the CA state law that guarantees our right to organize our union.  

The ALJ has ordered that Alliance cease and desist from:

  1. Interfering with employees’ right to be represented by UTLA,
  2. Interfering with UTLA’s statutory right of access,
  3. Denying UTLA its right to represent employees.

Alliance has been ordered to post a notice of the ruling in all of our schools and by email.

The ruling comes in response to a number of unfair practice charges filed against Alliance in April 2015.  The Friday ruling by the ALJ found that Alliance interfered with our rights and violated state labor law by:

  • Refusing access to our schools during non-work time by our UTLA organizers and members,
  • Blocking our email updates to our colleagues through our work emails,
  • Making threatening statements to a pro-union teacher by a school administrator about their support for our union.

This ruling confirms the initial order from December, in which Judge Chalfant issued an injunction against the Alliance, pending the decision by the ALJ in this PERB case to determine if Alliance had violated the law.  

In addition, Alliance argued during this hearing that Alliance home office should not be subject to state labor law by claiming that the home office doesn’t have influence over our jobs, doesn’t control our salary, benefits, effective ratings, etc., and that our schools are not controlled by the Alliance.  The ALJ rejected that argument and found that both Alliance and our schools are our employer and are subject to the state’s labor laws.

Read more about the ruling or read the full order.

“When we first went public with our union, the Alliance immediately began interfering with our rights, blocking access to emails and  intimidating some of my colleagues. They even went as far as claiming that the Home Office is not our employer, insinuating that we don’t have the same rights as other public school educators. I’m pleased that the judge has seen past this facade and is holding the Alliance accountable for their anti-union campaign. This is a step in the right direction and I hope this will lead Alliance to see the benefit of reaching a fair and neutral agreement that respect our rights.  ”

Xochil Johansen, Resource teacher at Stern MASS.