The pros of the LAUSD strike (it was worth it)

LAUSD school staff strike for better wages and work environment: a call for recognition of their essential role in the education system. Despite criticisms, the strike shedd light on inadequate compensation and working conditions of school staff.



Some parents and stakeholders opposed the strike, citing lost educational time for students, while others supported the workers’ demands. Despite this, critics believe that the strike was successful, when considering the outcomes for SEIU union members.

LAUSD is known as one of the biggest school districts in the Los Angeles area with a budget of around $35 billion. LAUSD’s funding goes toward sports, arts, and school construction, but not so much to staff and custodians. The janitors, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers earn an average wage of $16.85 per hour, which is not enough to cover home expenses.

Because the wage that the school staff makes does not accommodate their living expenses, they’ve decided to speak out against the district. On March 21st to the 23rd, SEIU Local 99 led a three-day strike to request more work hours, wanting all staff to be able to have a “living wage”, health care benefits, and better sanitization in schools.

However, many people were opposing this strike saying it’s making students lose time to learn at school. While students were losing education during these three days, in the long run, workers deserve to receive more respect for all of the effort they put into making the school a great place for students; getting a reasonable wage and work environment.

Parents were concerned with the lost time students had staying at home and thought there were other ways to go about the process of getting their requests heard. Students’ education is very important and should be taken into consideration. And there was a big chance for teachers and students to fall behind in their curriculum.

It’s also understandable that some parents were worried about childcare if they have to go to work during the day, which caused some parents to take days off to take care of their children.

However, these three days of lost academics can cause a lifetime change in how school staff is treated in the district.

The staff plays a big role in how schools get handled. Without them, the school wouldn’t be as functional as it is with their help.

Following the SEIU strike, it is now widely recognized that school staff plays an essential role in the functioning of schools. The absence of these workers during the strike highlighted their significance, and it is vital that they receive adequate compensation within the school district’s budget.

The challenges faced by staff, such as working beyond their pay grade and earning inadequate wages, have been brought to the forefront of public discourse. The SEIU strike was an effective means for school workers to voice their concerns as a unified group.

Historically, successful pickets like the Los Angeles teachers’ strike in 2019 have yielded positive results, including reduced classroom sizes in elementary schools, increased staff members such as nurses, librarians, and counselors, and a 6% raise for teachers.

Therefore, it is unlikely that the outcomes of the SEIU strike were entirely futile and a waste of time for students. While not all demands will be met, there will be more awareness of the struggles faced by school staff.