Hello, I am Soni Lloyd. For the past 17 years I have taught social studies in LAUSD, 4 years at Hale Middle School and 13 years at Venice High School. Throughout my career I have mobilized teachers and communities to improve public education. For UTLA I have served on steering and organizing committees, House of Reps, school site chapter chair and co-chair, and worked closely with affiliate organizations such as Schools LA Students Deserve and Alliance to Reclaim our Schools.
My grassroots activism was part of the bedrock that sustained multiple legislative and contract campaigns such as prop 30 in 2012 that saved us from drastic cuts during the recession and its extension prop 55 in 2018. Without these funds many of us would not have jobs and secure healthcare right now. I have educated communities, met with parents, hosted forums, made phone calls, and knocked on doors to connect people to the fight for educational justice.
However, I did all of this under the leadership and agenda of people who did not have the will, creativity and vision to turn the tide in the war on public education. LAUSD is now the #1 private charter authorizer in the nation, workloads are increasing, teachers are losing autonomy, member services are being ignored, teacher jail continues, and veteran teachers are being harassed out of the profession.
Despite victories in some areas, I have noticed an overall trend of diminishing teacher power to both the union and district bureaucracy, stagnant wages, loss of quality in healthcare plans and privatization. We went on strike and these abuses continue. We deserve reasonable workloads, top tier healthcare options, and yearly cost of living wage adjustments to maintain a good standard of living. Our students deserve reasonable class sizes and fully staffed schools.
We have tremendous workloads which makes it difficult to connect with our students and our own families and friends. Most of us do the work of two people while LAUSD is top heavy in administration who all too often act as obstacles to teacher performance. But instead of fighting for our day to day issues, our current union leadership engages in purely opportunistic political campaigns that do nothing to improve our working conditions. For example, the Bernie endorsement or the millions of dollars to school board candidates who authorize every charter they see and take no action to improve our working conditions or compensation. Both our school board and union leadership have forgotten what it is like to work at a school site. Union members who dissent from the agenda of union leadership are silenced.
Under my leadership we will take our union back from disconnected labor bureaucrats and prioritize the most pressing needs of the rank and file. As UTLA president I will democratize our union and organize us to…
WIN A TRUE TEACHER'S CONTRACT:
· Best possible salary scale (as stated in our UTLA Constitution) with annual cost of living adjustments and paid maternity leave. The top of our current pay scale is an embarrassment compared to surrounding districts.
· Improve healthcare and retirement plans as stated in our UTLA Constitution. Leadership has not protected what we have as options decrease and fees increase.
· A 20% across the board workload reduction by an increase in staff to make our schools more safe and productive.
· PD system that works for all teachers. The salary point system is nonsense.
· Strengthen due process and stop discrimination. End bogus write ups, and teacher jail.
· Open negotiations of contracts. No more secret negotiations and rushed votes.
· School Board that proactively address needs of communities instead of authorizing private charters.
· Stop subsidizing the profiteering non profits and collect all fees from charters immediately.
· Pursue legislation to abolish private charters.
· Contract language that stops privatization of public education in our city.
ACHIEVE FULL FUNDING FOR OUR SCHOOLS:
· Use the now $2.2 billion dollar reserve on services for students. The reserve was never spent post-strike and continues to grow.
· Stop budget manipulation of LAUSD and require them to spend all taxpayer funds on their schools.
· Ongoing public campaigns on district management of public funds.
ACTIVATE PARENTS, STUDENTS AND TEACHERS:
· Invest in real community organizing based on working with the public on education policy and divest from status quo politicians who abet privatization, allow for increasing workloads and violation of due process. The opportunity costs of millions of dollars on school board races is really connecting and mobilizing with our communities.
· Student unions set up at every school overseen by new UTLA student involvement committee. Student voice has to be centered.
· Educate membership on the major threats from within and without our education institutions.
· Build statewide and nationwide movement for public education.
POWER TO THE TEACHERS! VOTE LLOYD
The Caucus of Rank and File Educators in Los Angeles is a
movement of progressive teachers, psychologists, counselors, itinerant personnel, substitutes and their supporters who are fighting for fundamental change to the system of public education through our union, United Teachers of Los Angeles. We will end privatization and improve public schools for teachers and students.
We believe the rank and file teachers need to be the drivers of this change because our daily work informs us on what should be done. We will transform UTLA into a more democratic, harder fighting union that emphasizes mass political action and the militant defense of its toiling members. In doing this we will no longer prioritize fruitless campaigns for high profile politicians of the two major parties. Instead our focus will be on using our resources to address the daily needs of teachers and to educate and organize the masses to take back their schools.
Collectively we are building a platform that puts the daily needs of public school educators and students first so they can lead a reconstruction of public education and society. CORE-LA will fight for a visionary contract, not the status quo that is leaving too many working class families behind.
We will challenge the current leadership, Union Power, via the electoral process within all parts of the union, including the office of president. Elections begin on February 3rd. We invite like minded educators, parents and students to join us in this Just Cause for the future.
Check out this great video
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, Vote Lloyd