LAUSD schools reopen after 3-day strike ends with no contract settlement for service workers
By Marc Cota-Robles
Click here for updates on this story
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Sudents in the L.A. Unified School District will return to classes Friday following a three-day strike by service workers that shuttered the nation’s second-largest school system and culminated in a massive labor rally at Los Angeles State Historic Park.
No new contract came out of the three-day walkout by members of the Service Employees International Union Local 99 — nor was there any word on whether progress was being made in the contract dispute between the union and the district.
Mayor Karen Bass has been facilitating discussions between the sides, but it remained unclear if the talks were materializing into actual contract negotiations.
Nevertheless, it will be back to school on Friday, as the union confirmed Wednesday night it would hold to its three-day strike strategy.
“All @LASchools will reopen this Friday, March 24. We are grateful for the assistance and support of our partners, and we look forward to seeing our students and employees back at school,” the district tweeted Thursday night.
The SEIU, which represents roughly 30,000 LAUSD service workers, walked off the job Tuesday amid stalled labor talks focused primarily on the union’s demand for a 30% salary boost.
The service workers — including cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and others — were joined in their walkout by about 30,000 members of the United Teachers Los Angeles union, which is engaged in labor talks of its own with the district, seeking a 20% pay hike for its members.
All those workers stayed off the job through Thursday — when the SEIU strike climaxed with tens of thousands of union members and supporters descending on Los Angeles State Historic Park in a boisterous display of solidarity.
Meanwhile, according to Bass’ office, the mayor “will continue to work privately with all parties to reach an agreement to reopen the schools and guarantee fair treatment of all LAUSD workers.”
No other specifics were offered. However, Max Arias, president of SEIU Local 99, issued a statement Wednesday supporting the mayor’s involvement.
“We are grateful that the mayor has stepped in to provide leadership in an effort to find a path out of our current impasse,” Arias said. “Education workers have always been eager to negotiate as long as we are treated with respect and bargained with fairly, and with the mayor’s leadership we believe that is possible.”
The LAUSD issued a statement that said district officials “have been in conversation with SEIU Local 99 leaders with the assistance and support of Mayor Bass.”
“We continue to do everything possible to reach an agreement that honors the hard work of our employees, corrects historic inequities, maintains the financial stability of the district and brings students back to the classroom,” according to the district. “We are hopeful these talks continue and look forward to updating our school community on a resolution.”
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.