The Los Angeles Teachers Union Has Voted in Favor of a New Contract With the School District

During a three-day strike last month, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the union representing thousands of Los Angeles school workers have agreed on a new contract, the union announced in a news release on Saturday.

According to the union, which represents roughly 30,000 custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and other student services staff in Los Angeles school districts, more than 99% of Service Employees International Union Local 99 members voted to approve the new agreement during voting that took place between April 3 and April 7.

The union-proposed agreement, which contains, according to the LAUSD board, the following provisions, must also be approved by voters:

• A 30% wage increase, bringing the average salary from $25,000 to $33,000

• A $1,000 bonus for those who worked during the Covid-19 pandemic

• Fully paid family health care benefits that will be expanded to teachers’ assistants and after-school program workers, among others

• Increased hours for workers like special education assistants

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“This contract recognizes the essential work of those who work hard to ensure students can learn in a clean, safe, and supportive environment,” Max Arias, SEIU Local 99 executive director, said in the release.

“It is a major step forward with significant improvements to wages, work hours, and benefits for dedicated education workers who have been left behind for far too long.”

Teachers at the nation’s second-largest school district went on strike for three days last month, from March 21-23, because they felt underappreciated by the district’s administration. The union cited low earnings, little staffing, and inadequate hours as reasons for the walkout.

United Teachers Los Angeles, a union representing school employees, rallied in favor of the strike and encouraged its members to participate in related actions. About a year of fruitless negotiations with the LAUSD led to the strike.

As one janitor put it at the time, “We’re not asking for the world, but just… to live above water,” as he spoke to CNN affiliate KCBS/KCAL.

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