Nearly $1 Million Spent Against Our Right to Organize
CA State Audit: Alliance Has Spent Nearly $1 Million and Used $2.2 Million More on “Pro Bono” Legal Fees Against Our Rights & Decision to Unionize
An Exceptional Amount that Should Have Been Fundraised for Student Needs
In May 2016, the California Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) approved a request by State Senator Tony Mendoza to conduct an audit of Alliance. One purpose of the audit was to determine “expenditures related to teacher unionization” – regardless of where the funds came from.
“In November 2015, a group of parents asked CEO Dan Katzir and every school principal for a detailed report of the amount Alliance was spending to fight teachers’ efforts to form their union. We never got a response from Mr. Katzir. Each school’s administration told us there was no such paperwork. It is a shame that the State of California had to conduct an audit to get answers that we, as parents, requested 18 months ago.” Maria Esparza, Parent respectively of Bloomfield HS student and Collins Family HS alumni
“With $1.7 million we could have a designated school library, updated classroom furniture, and more textbooks at our school. It is unsettling to learn how much money Alliance is putting forth to stop us, its teachers, from basic rights, having transparency and job security. The time and energy that Alliance has spent raising money specifically allocated to fight those of us that support unionizing could have been better spent raising funds for our students.” Jeanette Tello, Teacher, Alliance Leadership Middle Academy
“The nearly $1 million could have been spent on a fully equipped art and drama department at our school. Online fundraising for our classrooms is common at our school, I’ve personally solicited friends and family for hundreds of dollars for art supplies just this year. I am incredibly disappointed that Alliance has already spent nearly $1 million—and continues to spend even more. Alliance has a beautiful mission as an organization, but fighting against those of us who are pro-union is counterproductive to everything we hope to achieve as high-quality, student focused schools.” Alisha Mernick, Teacher, Gertz-Ressler HS
“The state audit demonstrates our need to form a union. The Alliance Home Office invested a growing sum of at least 1 million dollars to silence our voices. Why didn’t that money fund libraries, playgrounds, musical instruments, nurses, field trips, and lab equipment all of which many of our schools lack? By forming our union, we will have a seat at the table to bargain collectively. Together, we teachers, counselors, and school psychologists can hold the Alliance Home Office accountable so valuable resources are invested in the schools instead of an agenda against our right to organize our union. Our kids need us to collectively advocate for them now more than ever.” Erick Guzman, Teacher, ACRMA #8
“I was dismayed to hear that Alliance has spent $1 million to fight teachers’ efforts to organize their union. Alliance could have hired nurses, librarians, and psychologists to foster our kids’ well-being with the $1.7 million they’ve raised. Our teachers are tasked with the responsibility of educating our children. As parents, we trust them to do this. This is why I support them in their right to have a voice by forming their union.” Elva Gil, Parent, Ouchi HS
“It is outrageous that Alliance has forced us to take legal action to defend ourselves and our rights to organize our union. I have seen the unlawful anti-union behavior firsthand. When I went to another Alliance school to share with colleagues why I support organizing, I was told by the principal that I couldn’t be there. I was denied my rights, and as such we were denied our rights, to have a discussion about organizing—rights affirmed by a court injunction. Alliance should respect our rights and our decision.” Gary Carter, Teacher, Morgan McKinzie HS
We are proud to be educators at Alliance. We are organizing our union so that we, teachers, counselors and psychologists will have a collective voice in the decisions that affect our students and our schools.