At The 74, Mike Antonucci details the the plans that California teachers' unions have to milk the most they can out of their next contract.
Their plans in short: Chaos.
"The next year-and-a-half must be founded upon building our capacity to strike, and our capacity to create a state crisis, in early 2018," said Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles.
Teachers' unions in San Diego, San Bernardino, Oakland and San Francisco all see their contracts expire in June 2017. Caputo-Pearl wants to coordinate with those teachers' unions to create the biggest possible crisis. Caputo-Pearl didn't explicitly call for a multi-city teachers' union strike, but did say it was an option.
The plan starts in September, with a paid media campaign against billionaires the Los Angeles union says have been "driving the public school agenda." That's part of the union's plan to get Proposition 55 passed, which would raise taxes on wealthy Californians to fund schools.
Following that, the union plans to be a major influence in the Los Angeles Unified School District board elections coming in 2017. The gubernatorial election in 2018, a wide open race because Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is term-limited, will also be a major political event for the union.
The union also plans to be more aggressive in asking for its members to contribute to its political action committee. Antonucci says only one-fifth of the union's members give to the PAC. But those donations might be hard to come by since the union just raised its membership dues by 33 percent.
Antonucci warned that if the Los Angeles union becomes more aggressive and succeeds, it might spread outside California. "If UTLA's agenda becomes the agenda of all California teacher unions and is ultimately successful, the union militancy train will leave the West Coast and travel through many other states," Antonucci wrote. "Union leaders comfortably situated in the status quo will have to jump aboard or get run over."
Jason Russell is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.