Los Angeles schools would close if union workers go on a three-day mass strike, superintendent. carvalho says
Los Angeles public schools would likely close in the event of a planned simultaneous three-day strike by unions representing 65,000 workers, including teachers and support staff, as the strike would be too difficult to overcome and student safety would not could be guaranteed in the second largest school district in the nation, the superintendent. Alberto Carvalho announced on Monday night.
“If this strike occurs, despite our best efforts to prevent it, due to anticipated teacher and staff shortages, we will likely have to close schools, with no virtual education, until the strike ends,” Carvalho said in a statement. email to families. “We simply would have no way of ensuring a safe and secure environment where teaching can take place. We will give you as much advance notice as possible, but we encourage you to start conversations with your employer, child care providers and others now.”
In a separate email to employees, he conveyed the same message, adding that arrangements would be made for support and learning outside of school.
“We are doing everything we can to provide students with resources for learning, social-emotional well-being, and food in the event of a strike.”
The planned strike dates will be announced during a rally Wednesday at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. If it happens, the walkout will be led by Service Employees International Local 99, which represents some 30,000 workers, including bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria and other food service workers, campus security aides, teaching assistants and aides for students with disabilities.
United Teachers Los Angeles, which is also in contract talks, has advised its members that they should walk in solidarity with Local 99 to increase pressure on the district.
Local 99 has described the walkout as a strike over unfair labor practice charges in protest of alleged illegal actions by LAUSD during the bargaining process. These strikes are usually of a fixed duration and can be organized without going through all the bargaining steps that usually precede an indefinite strike. according to the unions.
LAUSD officials have denied any wrongdoing.
Local 99 leaders recently declared a deadlock in negotiations and are moving through the mediation and fact-finding process. The union, which has yet to resolve wage issues dating from the 2020-21 school year, is seeking a 30% raise for all members, with an additional boost for lower-paid workers.
The 35,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles include teachers, counselors, therapists, nurses, and librarians. UTLA formally terminated its expired contract Friday, giving its members leeway to join the Local 99 strike, according to the union.
The teachers union is seeking a 20% raise over two years, starting with 10% for the current school year. The union’s bargaining platform is broad, covering a variety of labor and social justice issues, including a commitment to additional resources for black students and affordable housing for low-income families.
The unions have pointed to the district’s record billion-dollar reserves, recent inflation and the high cost of living in Southern California in support of their demands. The district has responded that its offers are generous and that much of the surplus is one-time funding that cannot be committed to ongoing spending.
Until the announcement, it was unclear if the district would try to keep campuses and classrooms running with a mix of supervisors, workers from other unions and striking union members willing to cross the picket lines.
Unions not participating in the strike would include those representing white-collar workers, library aides, school police officers and administrators.
A six-day strike in 2019 involved only the teachers’ union. Campuses remained open and safe for students, although there was little instruction and attendance was low.