Progress With Cleanliness Issues at LATTC: Update
By Alex Weber
Due to the hands-on nature of their studies, students and teachers at L.A. Trade Technical College
struggled with being offsite during the pandemic. So, they were pretty excited to get back to campus
when, in September of last year, they were told they’d be met with a facility that was Covid-compliant and
ready for learning.
Instead, said LATTC Digital Media Instructor and Chapter President Joe Guerrieri, what they found was
far from clean.
“Our workspaces were a mess,” Guerrieri said. “It was clear that the promises that were made were not
It went beyond just messy workspaces. As the fall semester got going, Guerrieri noticed restrooms not
being cleaned for days, soap dispensers not getting filled, and broken-down elevators that had gone
without mechanical attention for more than a year. He spoke with faculty across different departments
and found that the whole campus was struggling with similar issues.
As was reported in last October’s edition of Real News, Guerrieri and the AFT 1521 Campus Action Team
wrote up a petition requesting a series of operations- and infrastructure-related improvements — fixes
that Guild representatives said fall under the “reasonable measures” of the district’s return-to-work
memorandum of understanding.
A total of 160 members from all Trade Tech disciplines signed that petition, and it was submitted to the
district’s board of trustees and to LATTC’s president, Katrina VanderWoude, whom Guerrieri and other
petitioners also met with.
But other than receiving a letter from VanderWoude, things didn’t change significantly after that petition
was submitted and received. “We were still seeing a lot of the same problems,” Guerrieri said.
So, the next move was to go straight to the board of trustees, with a letter-writing campaign and speakers
appearing at board meetings.
“We had four speakers appear before the board — they were very brave,” Guerrieri said, “and we did get
a visit from one trustee who came to the college to see what was going on, as well as other folks from the
While Guerrieri said that while the struggle continues, things do finally seem to be on the mend at LATTC,
where they’re beginning to see regular cleaning and sanitization of faculty offices, classrooms,
bathrooms, and labs, as well as more frequent custodial staffing.
He credited solid organization and action with the success thus far.
“It was really in talking to people that I learned that they didn’t realize other people are experiencing the
same problems,” Guerrieri said. “Especially in this environment where we’re all online and we don’t get to
see things face-to-face, by bringing people together, we really empowered people.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Seo Yun [Son] from the Guild — she came up with the organizational plan.
She worked with me and the executive board and provided lots of strategies to help us, and encouraged
us to reach out to people one-on-one.
Guerrieri said that using what he’s learned thus far and with the continued support of the Guild, he and LATTC faculty are continuing the fight for clean and safe working conditions. Besides, it’s only fair.
“It's about respect,” he said. “I’m very proud of the way the faculty has stood up.”