The Los Angeles Unified School District and the union representing 30,000 school employees have agreed on a deal following a three-day strike.
The demonstrations garnered the attention of L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, who tried to act as a mediator to broker a deal between the two sides.
“We must all come together to support L.A. public schools, which are the most powerful determinant of our city’s future,” said Bass. “So, I am grateful we were able to find an agreement to move forward today.”
The tentative deal includes a 30% wage increase, retroactive active pay of $4,000-$8,000 depending on job classification, including a $1000 bonus for all, an increase to average annual salary from $25,000 to $33,000, seven hours of work guaranteed for Special Education Assistants and fully-paid health care benefits for teacher assistants, community representatives, after school program workers and their families.
It will now go to the union members who will vote for approval.
The custodians, cafeteria workers and special education aides, represented by Service Employees International Union Local 99, went on strike after reaching an impasse during labor negotiations with LAUSD. At the time, the two sides could not agree on the terms for higher wages and better working conditions.
One of the core snags revolved around the union’s demand for a 30% pay increase. This week the district upped its offer to a 23% overall increase, along with with a 3% cash bonus. However, union members said that the counteroffer would be spread out over time which would not do much when the average salary currently sits at about $25,000 a year.
The impasse prompted the union to leave the bargaining table and set up picket lines for three days. In solidarity, the United Teachers Los Angeles marched with SEIU, doubling the number of workers on strike and forcing the district to close classrooms for the duration of the demonstrations.
Workers and teachers protested throughout L.A., with thousands protesting outside LAUSD headquarters on Tuesday. The strike ended on Thursday with a huge rally at the Los Angeles State Historic Park.