Work Less! More Pay! The California Teachers Union Way
The fact is that LAUSD spends an astronomical amount of money on labor costs every year. Most of the expenses originate with the district’s collective bargaining agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles, the local teachers union.
EAGnews.org recently surveyed the 2007-11 collective bargaining agreement and used a freedom of information request to obtain actual costs tied to many provisions in that contract for the 2010-11 school year.
We discovered that, while the district was laying off employees and cutting instruction days to help address a $640 million deficit in 2010-11, it was spending $416 million on insurance premiums for teachers and retirees with no contributions from the insured parties.
The district also dropped $382 million on substitute teachers, $62 million on "instructional coaches," $47 million on automatic annual raises for teachers who were not laid off, and $6.2 million in extra pay for teachers who occasionally cover for absent colleagues.
The high cost of substitute teachers was almost certainly related to the 337,778 paid sick and personal days taken by teachers that year. That averages out to 12 paid days off per teacher in a nine-month (and shrinking) school year.
Overall, the report estimates that the district (with the cooperation of the teachers union) could have saved nearly $300 million without cutting anyone’s base salaries by trimming, eliminating, or suspending many unnecessary labor expenses in 2010-11.