Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) went on a three-day strike Tuesday as negotiations fell apart and the district’s two unions walked off the job, leaving families in the lurch.
Working parents scrambled to find child care options and alternate activities during the midweek strike. The first day of the strike happened to coincide with the start of yet another storm, limiting outdoor possibilities.
As Breitbart News reported last week, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is striking in solidarity with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99, the union that is at the heart of the controversy.
The SEIU workers represent support staff in the school district, the nation’s second-largest. The teachers themselves went on strike in 2019, leaving schools closed for days, ultimately accepting a 6% pay raise.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the SEIU workers are demanding, and rejecting, a more ambitious hike:
District officials increased their offer in a series of moves over several days. By Saturday, the offer was, according to the district, a cumulative 23% raise, starting with 2% retroactive as of the 2020-21 school year and ending with 5% in 2024-25. The package also includes a one-time 3% bonus for those who have worked since 2020-21, along with expanded hours, more full-time positions and improved eligibility for healthcare.
The union, which represents some of the district’s lowest-paid workers, includes bus drivers, teacher aides, special education assistants, security aides, custodians and food-service workers.
The LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the nation. It includes over half a million students, including some 420,000 children who will be affected by the strike. L.A. Mayor Karen Bass announced Sunday that the city will try to help children and their families so that parents can continue working and that students, many of whom receive their meals through the schools, will remain fed throughout the three-day duration of the strike.
The strike is bringing back memories of the extended school shutdowns of 2020-2021, when L.A. schools were closed during the coronavirus pandemic, and the UTLA resisted, calling a reopening plan “structural racism.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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