Alex Caputo-Pearl has won a second three-year term as president of United Teachers Los Angeles, the union that represents teachers, counselors and nurses in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The results represented a strong vote of confidence for the union leader, who received 82 percent of the vote against challenger Lisa Karahalios.
His “Union Power” slate also won, sweeping all seven districtwide offices, even though the opponents included veteran and respected union leaders, the Los Angeles Times reported. All the winners received more than 50 percent of ballots cast, allowing them to avoid a runoff.
A union statement calls the victory a mandate to keep pressing on several fronts, including higher salaries, strong health and retiree benefits and class-size reduction to benefit students and teachers. The union’s platform also includes an effort to rein in charter schools, which have proved popular with many families, but mostly are non-union.
The union statement also articulated a more recent priority: “defending our students and communities from federal anti-immigrant and anti-human rights attacks.”
“It’s an affirmation of the direction we’ve been headed,” Caputo-Pearl, 48, told The Times in an interview after the tabulation. “It gives us a lot of wind in our sails in the upcoming fights for a good contract, for state legislation that holds charter schools accountable and also in the school board races and in our efforts to take on Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos.”
Karahalios had argued that Caputo-Pearl’s team was neglecting the needs of individual teachers as it pursued a broad political agenda, The Times reported. She also questioned the effectiveness of his push to limit charter- school growth. But her campaign failed to gain traction.
—City News Service
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