The strike will last until Friday, when employee’s will return to work….
Classrooms in Los Angeles sat vacant again on Wednesday morning, as tens of thousands of teachers and employees in the nation’s second-largest school district continued a three-day strikethat has left some families blindsided and scrambling for child care.
Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 30,000 teachers’ assistants, bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers, is seeking a 30 percent pay increase. Union leaders say that their members are paid not much more than the minimum wage, as living costs have surged in Southern California. The Los Angeles teachers’ union, which is also currently negotiating its contract, asked its 35,000 members to walk out in solidarity.
The strike — called by the union specifically to protest what it called unfair negotiating tactics by the Los Angeles Unified School District — comes with protections for workers who walk out, the union said, but must have a set time limit. Classes are scheduled to resume on Friday for the district’s more than 420,000 students.
With negotiations at a standstill, the district set up supervision sites where students could be dropped off for the day, as well as locations where families could pick up three days’ worth of breakfasts and lunches….
The Service Employees International Union Local 99, which represents 30,000 workers, said its members made an average of $25,000 a year — a figure that Los Angeles Unified officials said includes both part- and full-time employees. The labor group also said that half its members reported in a 2022 survey that they worked a second job.
The largest expenditure for Los Angeles-area residents is housing, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on consumer expenditures. Local residents devote 38 percent of their yearly spending toward housing, according to the data, compared with the national average of roughly 34 percent.
“It’s impossible to maintain a high quality of life on such a low income,” said Kyla Thomas, a sociologist at the University of Southern California Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.
LABarometer, a survey that the Dornsife Center conducts to track social conditions and attitudes in the region, found that nearly 60 percent of local renters are spending more than 30 percent of their household incomes on housing, which qualifies them as being “rent-burdened.” Among those earning less than $30,000 annually — a threshold that would include the average Local 99 member — 81 percent are rent-burdened.
Local 99 is demanding a 30 percent overall raise, as well as an additional $2-an-hour increase for the lowest-paid workers. In its most recent offer, the school district proposed a 23 percent wage increase, spread across several years, and a 3 percent onetime bonus.
The union, in a statement late Tuesday, accused the school district of driving inequality, particularly among people of color and women. The group noted that 64 percent of its members are Latino, 20 percent are Black, and 74 percent are women….
image…Credit…Alex Welsh for The New York Times
A tentative agreement has been reached to end the protracted contract dispute that shut down Los Angeles public schools for three days, with the lowest-wage workers winning a raise of 30% or more, officials announced Friday afternoon.
The tentative pact, reached after mediation with Mayor Karen Bass, could, if approved by union members, prevent campuses from being closed again to 420,000 students and spare low-wage workers from job actions that would have been difficult to bear….