los angeles schools closures due to district workers’ strike
Teachers will join tens of thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District employees in a three-day strike that will close the country’s second-largest school system on Tuesday due to the failure of contract negotiations.
Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 30,000 teachers’ aides, special education assistants, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and other support staff, is expected to hold demonstrations at schools throughout the city.
Before dawn, the workers were supposed to form picket lines and demand higher pay and more staff. More than 500,000 students from Los Angeles, 25 other cities, and unincorporated county areas attend school in the district.
Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho asserted that he was ready to meet at any hour of the day or night and accused the union of refusing to engage in negotiations. He claimed that on Monday, a “golden opportunity” to advance was missed.
“I think we could have prevented this strike. But without people actually conversing with one another, it cannot be avoided,” he said.
The district is accused of engaging in misconduct that has interfered with employees’ rights to engage in legally protected union-related activities, according to Local 99, which announced Monday night that it was in discussions with state labour regulators about the allegations.
The union issued a statement stating, “We want to be clear that we are not in negotiations with LAUSD. “We are still actively participating in the state-led impasse process.”
The statement claimed that those discussions would not prevent a strike.
The union declared, “We are prepared to strike.”
About 150 of the district’s more than 1,000 schools are anticipated to remain open throughout the strike with adult supervision but no instruction, providing students with a place to go. To ease the burden on parents who are currently struggling to find childcare, dozens of libraries, parks, and “grab and go” locations for students to get lunch are also planned to be open to children.
In a statement released on Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said, “Schools are so much more than just places for learning; they are a safety net for hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles families. “We will make sure to do everything we can to provide the resources our city’s families need.”
Workers claimed that their only remaining option was to strike.
Marlee Ostrow, an instructional assistant who supports the strike, claimed that a raise was long overdue. The 67-year-old made $11.75 an hour when she was hired nearly 20 years ago and now makes about $16. She claimed that wasn’t enough to keep up with inflation and rising housing costs, and in the meantime, her responsibilities increased from two to five classrooms.
Ostrow attributes the district’s high unemployment rate to the low wages in the area.
Since you can start earning more money at Burger King, nobody is even applying, she claimed. Many people genuinely want to assist children, and they shouldn’t face consequences for making it their life’s work.
According to the union, district support staffers make an average of about $25,000 a year, and many of them struggle to make ends meet due to low pay or short workweeks, as well as rising inflation and the high cost of housing in LA County. A 30% raise is what the union is requesting. Over two years, teachers want a 20% pay increase.
According to Carvalho, the district has offered a 3% bonus on top of a multi-year pay increase totaling more than 20%. A “massive expansion of healthcare benefits” would also be part of the agreement, the superintendent told Fox 11 on Monday.
The majority of union members are in favor of the strike. Thousands of protestors gathered outside City Hall last Wednesday in the hours before the strike date was made official. Many of them were wearing red.
While the contract for teachers expired in June 2022, the SEIU has been operating without a contract since June 2020. Last week, the unions decided to stop accepting contract extensions.
The union for 35,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, and other staff members, United Teachers Los Angeles, expressed support for their fellow workers who are on strike.
Los Angeles schools will be closed on Tuesday due to district workers’ planned strike action and the impasse in negotiations. Teachers will join!
According to a UTLA tweet, teachers will join their union brothers and sisters on the picket lines. Additionally, the district is in negotiations with the teachers’ union.
Schools were open despite a six-day strike by teachers in 2019 over pay and contract issues.