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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Demanding change from the district

Multiple members of LAUSD’s school staff plan to go on strike some time in March in order to have their demands heard by the district.
Due+to+the+lack+of+support+to+teachers%2C+they+are+going+on+strike+against+LAUSD.
THE MIRROR | DIEGO AGUIRRE
Due to the lack of support to teachers, they are going on strike against LAUSD.

LAUSD staff that fall under the SEIU Local 99, the Education Workers United union, will soon be going on strike if their demands are not met by the district.

The union is asking for an increase in wages, staff levels and working hours. They believe  these changes will ultimately be beneficial to both the staff and students.

“Low wage and part time work is making it difficult for LAUSD to recruit and retain enough staff for essential student services,” Education Workers United said. “We are demanding more staff to ensure clean, safe and supportive schools for all students.”

Mr. Christopher May is an English teacher here at Van Nuys High School as well as the UTLA union representative and he strongly agrees that these changes are necessary. 

“They on average receive $20,000 a year and the federal poverty line is in the mid 30’s so SEIU members are paid well below what they should be paid and what is just, human and equitable,” Mr. May said.

The union has been trying to negotiate these terms since the 2020-21 school year but both the union and the district have yet to settle.

Negotiations with the district began in April 2021 of last year. As of Dec. 22, 2022 the union decided to declare an impasse, meaning a state mediator will now be a part of the conversation to try and help the two parties involved reach an agreement.

If an agreement is still not reached the union will have no choice but to go on strike in order to achieve the results they want.

SEIU Local 99 has already filed an unfair practice charge which allows them to go on a three day strike before the impasse is over.

Union members have already voted to authorize a strike should the negotiations end without any changes being made.

This strike will most likely take place sometime between March 15 and the beginning of spring break.

Participants would include bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, supervision aids, special education TAs and classroom TAs. 

In addition to the positions that fall under the Education Workers United union, teachers will also not be crossing the picket line.

“UTLA will honor any strike by SEIU,” Mr. May said. “That means that teachers will not be at work the days that SEIU is on strike.”

Since teachers are not crossing picket lines, schools will have limited staff on campus.

Mr. May believes this is a result of LAUSD’s superintendent, Alberto M. Carvalho, and his actions.

“His actions have left both unions bewildered, discouraged and frustrated that there is no communication between the bargaining units and the district’s bargaining unit,” he said. “There just seems to be no reception on the part of the district to any of the considerations the unions are bringing up.” 

With almost all the school’s faculty going on strike, the hope is that the district will finally meet their demands. 

“The district functions on all of us working together and that includes SEIU members,” Mr. May said.

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About the Contributor
Mia Ramirez
Mia Ramirez, Staff
I never thought that one day I would sit and write news stories all the time. When I was little the only thing I liked to write about was fairytales and popstars. Now that I am older the focus of my stories have shifted. As a staff writer for The Mirror, I write stories that focus on real people and what they have to say.  I have written multiple stories for the paper and I continue to search for new stories wherever I go. Outside of journalism, I am the captain for Van Nuys’ cross Country team and am constantly looking for new ways to make people smile.
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