In the latest of a long and increasingly unrealistic list of demands, the largest teachers’ union in California is demanding that the government provide free child care for all teachers before they return to in-person teaching, as reported by Politico.
The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) is calling on the Los Angeles Unified School District to allow teachers to continue working from home if they have young children of their own, and that such teachers will only return to in-person teaching if the district provides them with subsidized child care. In addition, the union demands that the district set up a permanently subsidized child care program for all teachers by the fall of 2021.
The latest demand comes after several other school districts in large cities across the state have made some accommodations for teachers with children; districts in Sacramento, San Diego, and San Jose have allowed for teachers to bring their own children to their schools while they teach in-person.
Although such demands have been made by teachers’ unions in the past, many parents in the district view the unions as taking advantage of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic in order to get what they want. One parent, Moema Leblanc, said that while she “support[s] a lot of the things they’re fighting for…there’s a fine line, because the moment that it prevents our kids from going back to school, then that’s not OK.” Leblanc went on to admit that “these have been chronic issues teachers have fought for for years, and unfortunately the pandemic became the platform they needed. They know they can use it.”
Across the country, but especially in heavily liberal states like California, teachers’ unions have used the pandemic as an excuse to stay home from work, and have exponentially increased their list of demands whenever a breakthrough on in-person learning appears to be on the horizon. Various unions across the country have demanded various “safety measures,” including mandatory priority vaccinations for teachers first, as well as shields and spacing in the classrooms to keep the students behind.