Teachers and service workers hold massive rally

Union leaders announce a three-day strike beginning March 21

In a show of force, thousands of LAUSD employees wearing purple and red gathered at a rally in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on March 15 demanding better working conditions and pay. The workers were represented by SEIU Local 99 which includes bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and special education assistants. They were joined by members of the teacher’s union, UTLA. Unless a deal is struck between LAUSD and SEIU Local 99 by Monday night, about 30,000 support staff are set to strike for three days beginning on Tuesday with 35,000 teachers joining them in solidarity. The district warns that it will shutdown all schools as a result.

THE SCOOP: This rally provided a platform for workers to voice their demands for higher pay and improved working conditions. SEUI is seeking a 30% pay increase, while the teacher’s union is seeking 20%. The rally was designed to put pressure on the district to address union demands.

• Details of the planned strike were announced by SEIU at the rally.
• A total of 65,000 workers are set to walk off the job, paralyzing the nation’s second largest school system.
• Union leaders called for the strike after accusing LAUSD of unfair labor practices.
• SEIU has been in negotiations with LAUSD for nearly three years and have been working without a formal contract.
• The teacher’s union, UTLA, is currently in contract negotiations with LAUSD.
• Both unions accuse LAUSD of negotiating in bad faith.