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Los Angeles school district workers to go on 3-day strike


Mar 15, 2023

LOS ANGELES — Cafeteria workers, bus drivers and other workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District will stage a three-day walkout next week, and their union says tens of thousands of teachers have vowed not to cross the picket line.

The walkout in the second largest school district in the country is scheduled for next Tuesday through Thursday, the Service Employees International Union Local 99 said.

The SEIU said in a statement that the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents about 30,000 teachers, vowed not to cross the picket lines.

District Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said in a letter to parents Monday that if a strike were to occur, the district would likely have to close schools, with no virtual education, until the strike ends.

The SEIU wants salary increases, more full-time work, and more staff for student services. In addition to cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and custodians, its members are also special education assistants.

One of the goals of the three-day walkout is to “show the district that we are fed up with their disrespect and are not afraid to take strong action to demand respect for our work,” the union said. said the weekend.

The Los Angeles teachers union went on strike in 2019 that lasted seven days. The strike ended with an agreement on wage increases and promises to reduce class sizes, among other issues.

The school district has more than 600,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12 in more than 1,000 schools, it says in your website.

Carvalho, who was hired at the end of 2021 and took office in February 2022, called on the service workers union to return to the negotiating table. in a statement on Wednesday.

“SEIU simply refuses to negotiate,” Carvalho said. He said the district had made a «historic offer» to the union designed to address their demands.

Carvalho said in the letter to parents that the district’s offer included “a more than 15% increase in our minimum wage (to more than $20 an hour)” and other measures.

The service workers union says it has been negotiating with the district since April. He says the district is too reliant on a low-paid, part-time workforce.

The union is asking for a 30% raise. The average salary for school workers in LAUSD is $25,000 a year and most work part-time, SEIU said in the statement.

«Families have been sacrificing for too long on poverty wages,» said Max Arias, executive director of SEIU Local 99.

The strike announcement came the same day that teachers and others demonstrated in the Grand Park area of ​​downtown Los Angeles. NBC Los Angeles reported.

the school district said tuesday that had offered salary increases of 5% for the school year that begins in 2022, 5% for the one that begins in 2023, and one-time bonuses of 4% and 5% in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, respectively.

He also said he proposed salary increases that include $20,000 for nurses, $3,500 for workers including social workers and psychologists, and $2,500 for special education teachers.

SEIU Local 99 says it has 50,000 education workers as members, including more than 30,000 who work in LAUSD schools.

Its members voted in February to authorize a strike.

The Associated Press contributed.