Rolling Out

Why Los Angeles school workers are going on a 3-day strike

The strike is affecting nearly half a million students
Why Los Angeles school workers are going on a 3-day strike
Photo credit: / maroke

On March 21, tens of thousands of Los Angeles school employees began a three-day strike, which forced hundreds of campuses to close and cancel classes for about 422,000 students.

The Members of Service Employees International Union Local 99 represents over 30,000 Los Angeles school custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and other support staff. The union has stated they want equitable wage increases, more full-time work, respectful treatment, and increased staffing levels for improved student services.

United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents teachers and other district employees, is participating in the strike as well, joining the workers union rallies.

To be more specific, the union says they want a 30% pay raise, plus an additional $2 an hour over the next four years, and increased employment hours for part-time workers.

As of March 20, the school district offered a 23% recurring pay increase, plus a 3% cash-in-hand bonus, a $20-an-hour minimum wage, and full health care benefits for those working at least four hours a day.

Despite a last-minute effort to stop the strike, the talks between the district and Local 99 failed. The district’s support workers, who bring students to and from school, clean schools, and feed students every day, have worked without a contract since June 2020.

Los Angeles school district superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the union refused to negotiate and that a “golden opportunity” to make progress the day before the strike.

“I believe this strike could have been avoided,” Carvalho said. “But it cannot be avoided without individuals actually speaking to one another.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out