All LAUSD classes will be canceled Tuesday as thousands of workers plan a 3-day strike.
The announcement was made by Superintendent Alberto Carvalho Monday, a day after the district said it would “prepare for the unfortunate reality of school closures.”
“Let’s continue to negotiate for as long as it takes for our students,” Carvalho said Monday. “We must avoid lost instructional and social and emotional development time.”
Carvalho reiterated that its students “lost a lot of ground” in 2020 after pandemic restrictions led to forced school closures and eventually distance learning.
The Service Employees International Union Local 99 (SEIU) represents roughly 30,000 district employees that range from school bus drivers, to cafeteria works and aides.
SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Max Arias accused the district of breaking the confidentiality of a planned meeting between the two sides.
“This afternoon, SEIU Local 99 had agreed to enter a confidential mediation process with LAUSD to try and address our differences,” SEIU said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Unfortunately, LAUSD broke that confidentiality by sharing it with the media before our bargaining team, which makes all decisions, had a chance to discuss how to proceed. This is yet another example of the school district’s continued disrespect of school workers. We are ready to strike.”
Arias then said the two sides remained at an impasse, with its represented workers fully planning to strike from March 21-23.
Carvalho said the district presented a contract that offered a more than 15% ongoing wage increase, 9% retention bonus, equity adjustments for those earning fewer than $30 per hour, health benefits for part-time employees and a $20 minimum wage, which would be higher than both the county and state’s minimum.
SEIU called it a “step forward,” but sought a 30% ongoing wage increase, as well as $2 per hour equity wage increase.
In anticipation of the strike, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the city would provide students with “safe places and meals,” as L.A.’s Department of Recreation and Parks will serve as Grab & Go locations Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., as well as L.A. recreation centers offering free meals to elementary school students from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Schools are so much more than centers of education,” Bass said in a statement. “They are a safety net for hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles families. We will make sure to do all we can to provide resources needed by the families of our city.”
The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles announced that students would also be allowed free admission during the strike, providing additional safe spaces at both the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park and the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park.
As of this writing, the strike is scheduled to begin at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday and will run through Thursday night. It is not yet clear if schools will close for the entirety of the strike.
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