Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

From today’s CNN News:

Classrooms in the Los Angeles area were closed for a third day Thursday as school workers capped off a massive strike demanding increased wages and better work conditions.

The Service Employees International Union Local 99, which represents about 30,000 Los Angeles school custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and other student services staff, began picketing Tuesday with the support of the district’s teachers after nearly a year of unsuccessful negotiations with the school district.

The three-day strike was ending with a rally at the Los Angeles State Historic Park on Thursday, where union members in the nation’s second-largest school district will “issue their strong, unified call for LAUSD to bargain fairly,” SEIU Local 99 said.

School workers plan to return to school on Friday, according to the union.

Frustrated union members say they feel undervalued by low wages, minimal staffing and inadequate hours even as they provide essential services to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s students. The union says workers’ average salary is $25,000, requiring many to work additional jobs.

“We live in this weird paradox as workers that help feed children and yet we struggle to feed our own children,” union member Adrian Alverez told CNN affiliate KCAL. “We help students go to college, yet we don’t have enough money to send our kids to college.”

The union is demanding “equitable wage increases, more full-time work, respectful treatment, and increased staffing levels for improved student services.”

The United Teachers Los Angeles union, which is undergoing separate contact negotiations with the district, is honoring the workers’ strike and has urged its 35,000 members to join picket lines and rallies.

Read the complete story here.

By Editor