More than 30,000 bus drivers, teacher aids, special education assistants, security aides, custodians, and food service employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District began their three-day strike on Tuesday to protest the school district’s unfair practices and to demand higher, deserved wages.
According to SEIU Local 99, workers are asking for a 30-percent pay increase over three years with an equity adjustment, as school workers are grossly underpaid and undervalued, with the average education worker working more than five hours a day and earning $25,000 a year. Education workers are also predominately Latinx and Black women, according to SEIU99.
Teachers at LAUSD with support from their union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) are supporting the strike and walked out in solidarity, shutting down the nation’s second largest school district through Thursday. UTLA members are also seeking around 20 percent in pay increases for district teachers. More Perfect Union reports that a third of LA teachers work two jobs to survive, with first year teachers unable to afford rent in LA.
Both unions and members are calling on LAUSD board members and district management to use its $4.9 billion in reserves to invest in its staff, students, and teachers.
Our members, along with labor unions across the region and social justice activists, rallied in solidarity all week to support their strike efforts. Here are some videos and pictures of the strike this week.
Olga Garcia, who is a CFA member, poet and faculty member in Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies at Cal State LA supporting the strike, said, “What’s that quote from way back in the day that is still unfortunately relevant today? ‘It will be a great day when our schools get all the funding they need, and the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.’ LAUSD has $4.9 billion in reserves. There are no excuses. Our teachers, education workers, and students deserve so much more.”