US: Strike or no strike, pensions problematic for LA schools - PressFrom - US

USStrike or no strike, pensions problematic for LA schools

18:15  12 january  2019
18:15  12 january  2019 Source:

Los Angeles teachers strike still on as impasse declared

Los Angeles teachers strike still on as impasse declared A massive teachers strike in Los Angeles is still planned for Monday after their union rejected a new offer from the nation's second-largest school district and declared an impasse. After hours of new talks Friday, the union representing teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District announced the new offer was "woefully inadequate." District Superintendent Austin Beutner says he's asking Gov. Gavin Newsom for help negotiating the contract dispute. "We need his help to resolve this," he said. "We'd like the governor to step in, bring the parties together, keep us in a room, lock the door and throw away the key if he has to, so we can reach a resolution.

Thousands of teachers and lecturers across London stage 24-hour walkout over government's pension reforms.

University and College Union claims good turnout on picket lines despite freezing weather.

Strike or no strike, pensions problematic for LA schools© The Associated Press United Teachers Los Angeles union president Alex Caputo-Pearl, third from right, surrounded by union negotiators speaks during a news conference at the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters in Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. A massive teachers strike in Los Angeles is still planned for Monday after a union rejected a new offer from the nation's second-largest school district and declared an impasse following 21 months of increasingly heated negotiations. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES — Strike or no strike, after a deal is ultimately reached on a contract for Los Angeles teachers, the school district will still be on a collision course with deficit spending because of pensions and other financial obligations.

Los Angeles teachers prepare for Monday strike

Los Angeles teachers prepare for Monday strike The walkout will be the first for the school district in three decades as negotiators fail to reach a deal on salaries, class sizes and hiring more staff.

Schools are closed and transport is being badly affected by the workers’ one-day strike . If there was a widespread withdrawal, pension funds would collapse. And that would leave UK PLC very short of investment, just when it needs it more than ever.

The cause of the strike appears simple. University managers want to make changes to the USS, the pension plan that covers lecturers at 65 UK universities. Lecturers and their union, the University and College Union (UCU), the largest higher education union in the world, are determined to prevent those

School systems across California are experiencing burdensome payments to the state pension fund while struggling to improve schools.

The problem is especially acute for districts like Los Angeles Unified that will see a financial hit in part because of steadily declining enrollment.

As fewer students enroll, public schools get less in per-pupil funding from the state, said Helen Cregger, an analyst and vice president at the financial services company Moody's.

"Then comes the tradeoff between making good on pension promises and what you're capable of offering in salaries," she said.

With no new talks, LA teacher strike all but inevitable

With no new talks, LA teacher strike all but inevitable Tens of thousands of Los Angeles teachers are planning to strike Monday. With no new talks scheduled, pickets are likely to begin at 7 a.m. The LA Unified School District's last offer was for a 6 percent salary increase over the first two years of a three-year contract. The union, United Teachers Los Angeles, wants a 6.5 percent hike that would take effect all at once and be retroactive to fiscal 2017. Union officials said some of the district's proposals would expire after a year, calling it disrespectful. "We are at an impasse," union president Alex Caputo-Pearl said Friday.

Expressing fear that a Los Angeles strike could spark a broader strike , AFT President Randi Weingarten (annual salary 4,000) tweeted, “This is not about a strike wave—this is a specific fight for the kids & public schools of LA .” The Democratic Party, which controls every lever of political

Nearly half of Wales' schools will be affected on Thursday if planned strike action by teachers goes ahead. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the He said: "No one wants to go on strike and we would happily call it off if the government wanted to play ball, but it seems to be their way or no way.

The downward trend in enrollment is due to skyrocketing housing costs that keep families with school-age kids out of the city and the growth of charters — privately operated public schools that compete for students and the funds they bring in.

Los Angeles is among the school districts across California that are not well-positioned to manage the coming confluence of slower revenue growth, declining enrollment and rising pension contribution rates, according to a Moody's study published in September 2018.

The LA district's contributions to the state's two large pension plans — California State Teachers' Retirement System and the California Public Employees' Retirement System — amounted to about 5.5 percent of the budget in the 2014-15 school year. By last year, that number had climbed to nearly 8 percent, according to an Associated Press analysis.

The contributions ramped up quickly to chip away at plan underfunding and because of demographic trends: As retirees live longer, their lifetime pensions cost more. Meanwhile, the district is spending more on special education programs and seeing climbing health care costs.

LAUSD teachers go on strike

LAUSD teachers go on strike Los Angeles teachers walked off the job Monday morning in their first strike in 30 years, leaving half a million students and their families with difficult choices. 

Public sector strike . Pensions strike futile, PM says. Tens of thousands of people joined rallies around the UK as a public sector strike over pensions disrupted schools , hospitals and other services.

Simply because his number of strikes was gone doesn't have anything to do with the past tense of the verb strike . It is still " struck " out. If you could provide more information for your reasoning, I might understand. However, it doesn't follow why you would change the past tense of the verb "to strike .".

Governing bodies in some places — though not LA Unified — have skipped pension contributions altogether to deal with other more immediate budget crunches, compounding the shortfalls. California's major plans are short largely because they did not reach lofty investment return targets.

David Crane, president of the advocacy group Govern for California, said there's nothing an individual school district can do about its rising pension costs. He said state aid — like a plan that new Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced Thursday in his budget proposal — could reduce the burden for districts, though.

Newsom, a Democrat, wants to make a $3 billion one-time payment to California's teacher pension fund on behalf of schools to help districts that are seeing more of their budgets eaten up by pension obligations.

Crane said districts can reach deals with teachers unions to eliminate or scale back paying for retiree health care. He said those costs are not needed because they're subsidizing care largely for people already eligible for subsidized coverage or Medicare.

L.A. schools lost $15 million on Day 1; now comes Day 2 of the teachers' strike

L.A. schools lost $15 million on Day 1; now comes Day 2 of the teachers' strike Los Angeles schools Superintendent Austin Beutner said the first day of the teachers' strike hit hard. Only a third of the district's students showed up, which he said would cost the district $25 million in state funding based on attendance. 

University pensions strike update: Universities to be hit with 14 strike days if USS row not resolved. UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'Staff who have delivered the international excellence universities boast of are understandably angry at efforts to slash their pensions .

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"It's coming out of current teachers' pockets," Crane said, and will only get more expensive in the future. Cutting the post-retirement benefits, which cost the district $343 million last school year, could mean raises of more than $10,000 for each of the district's 26,000 teachers, he said.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said he's "delighted" by the new governor's commitment to public education and added that it's the district's obligation to make good on current pensions.

"The work's been done, the benefits have been earned," he said. "We wish the state would give us a little more money to cover the actual costs of those benefits but we're committed, of course, to maintaining the pension system that's in place."

Many educators say they chose teaching over more lucrative professions because of the promise of a secure retirement, and they hammer at the moral argument that pensions are promises.

Walkouts last year by teachers in Kentucky schools were largely over the governor's plan to cut future pension benefits there. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his state's largest union spent nearly his entire eight years in office battling over pensions.

Teachers are preparing to strike in Los Angeles on Jan. 14, where the union is pushing for higher salaries and more hiring despite warnings from the LA County Office of Education about potential deficit spending.

Since 2014, California schools have been required to contribute an increasing amount of money to secure the pensions of current teachers and to pay down unfunded liabilities for retirees.

In 2013, schools put in 8.25 percent of a teacher's earnings to help fund pensions. That rate will more than double to 19 percent by 2020.

United Teachers Los Angeles has made Beutner, an investment banker and former Los Angeles deputy mayor without experience in education, a lightning rod in negotiations. The union says Beutner and school board members who voted him in are trying to privatize the district, encouraging school closures and flipping public schools into charters.

Beutner's supporters say now more than ever the system needs someone with a business background and an understanding of budgets and the bottom line.


Associated Press reporter Geoff Mulvihill contributed from Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Tunisia hit by general strike, amid economic tensions.
Workers around Tunisia are on strike to demand higher pay in a standoff with a government struggling to tame unemployment, poverty and social tensions. Marathon last-minute negotiations between the government and union umbrella group UGTT have failed to avert the strike by public sector workers. The stoppage is expected to affect airports, ports, hospitals and other public services. Demonstrations are planned at the national union headquarters in the capital Tunis and around the country. The International Monetary Fund has urged public sector salary freezes and other reforms in exchanges for loans to Tunisia's struggling economy.

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