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Massive school worker strike and district-wide lockdown looming in Los Angeles

Good morning and welcome to Essential California Newsletter. Is Friday, March 17.

Up to 65,000 Los Angeles Unified School District workers (teachers, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, nurses, librarians, special education aides, and others) from the district’s two largest labor unions. plan a three day strike starting Tuesday March 21st.

The expected walkout would force schools to close and “represent the largest and longest total disruption to education (for LAUSD) since the six-day teacher strike of 2019,” Times reporters Howard Blume and Andrew J. Campa noted this week. “Even the pandemic campus closures, which lasted more than a year in Los Angeles, have not resulted in a complete disruption of academic instruction.”

Leaders of Service Employees International Union Local 99 and United Teachers Los Angeles announced the strike during a mass rally on Wednesday, calling for wage increases and better conditions.

The strike follows a breakdown in negotiations between LAUSD officials and SEIU Local 99, which is calling for a 30% pay increase for all its members, plus an additional boost for lower-paid workers.

The wage increases are seen as vital to helping lift LAUSD workers, many of whom work in schools part-time, out of poverty.

LAUSD’s offer for Local 99 members includes:

  • a rolling 5% pay increase retroactive to July 1, 2021
  • an additional 5% continuous salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2022
  • a 5% salary increase that would take effect on July 1, 2023
  • a one-time 4% “retention bonus” for the current school year
  • another one-time bonus of 5% the following year

Salary and raises aren’t the only problem. Local 99 and UTLA are also fighting for smaller classes and better working conditions.
“Working families can’t wait for living wages,” Local 99 executive director Max Arias told The Times last month. “Students cannot wait for clean, safe and caring schools.”

Local 99 is leading the strike, with UTLA members joining in solidarity. This latter group is also in negotiations with LAUSD for salary increases.

Local 99 leaders say the three-day strike is in protest of alleged illegal actions by LAUSD during the bargaining process. Arias told Blume last month that the workers “have been subject to surveillance, intimidation and harassment by the school district” during the bargaining process. LAUSD denies any wrongdoing.

With a three-day closure of all Los Angeles schools looming, district officials are working to soften the blow to more than 420,000 students and their families.

LA Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho sent an email to families this week, advising them to make childcare arrangements. He said the district is talking to community groups about a plan to get kids groceries, since many rely on school lunches during the school week, and help families with childcare.

Carvalho also promised to be available 24 hours a day to meet with union leaders and reach a resolution.

“I am committed 24/7, day and night…to find a solution that will prevent, will prevent a strike that will prevent children from staying home, will prevent children from starving in our community without access to the food they receive. school,” she said during a press conference on Wednesday.

As of Thursday night, no further talks between Local 99 and LAUSD had been scheduled, although that could change in the coming days.

And now, this is what is happening in california, from Karim Doumar:

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The eleventh atmospheric river storm of the season left a trail of sodden misery in California as it broke decades-long rainfall records and breached levees this week. The Los Angeles Times

Four buildings in San Clemente have been deemed unsafe after heavy rains triggered a massive landslide along the shoreline. San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan said he wasn’t sure how many people were evacuated, but the four buildings include 20 units, though some are vacation homes or second homes. The Los Angeles Times

sog’s slog continues: Forecast calls for more rain through March

Check out “The Times” podcast for essential news and more

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you’re looking for a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse group of reporters from the award-winning LA Times newsroom, delivers the hottest stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


Governor Gavin Newsom will announce plans this week to redo San Quentin, one of the state’s most storied prisons, using a Scandinavian prison model that emphasizes rehabilitation. The vision for a new San Quentin includes job training for careers that can pay six figures, in trades like plumbing, electricity or truck driving, and using the complex as a last stop for incarceration before release. The Los Angeles Times

Mayor Karen Bass says the city will house 4,000 homeless people in its first 100 days. Bass intends to reach 1,000 in part by conducting more camping operations. The Los Angeles Times


In case you are concerned that LA needs more studio space, the the legendary Fox Studio Lot is slated for a $1.5 billion expansion. One of Hollywood’s most celebrated movie factories could be getting an upgrade that would change Century City’s skyline and add production facilities to meet industry demand. The Los Angeles Times

It’s not just teachers’ unions flexing their muscles. The Writers Guild of America is about to enter contract negotiations with major studios. Their leaders are already pressing the case why writers deserve better treatment. The Los Angeles Times


The UCLA and USC men’s teams prepared to begin their quest to reach the Final Four in Houston and the women’s in Dallas. Get up to speed on the tournament quickly with coverage from our sports department.


Torrey Pines State Beach, La Jolla.

(Illustration by Ross May/Los Angeles Times; Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

Giant sequoias, desert lands and alpine peaks? California’s 280 state parks have it all. Visit all 280 state parks, including the newest, Two rivers, it could take you 10 years, or it could take you a lifetime. The Los Angeles Times

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Don’t let today’s name california landmark I fool you, it’s 100% local. donald carpers of Fair Oaks screams alabama hillsLocated in Sierra Nevada.

A rock formation looks a bit like a large head with a face.

Look closely at the rock formations in the Alabama Hills and you might see someone looking back.

(Donald Carpers)

donald writes:

(This) photo was taken by me on a visit to the Mammoth Lakes area about 10 years ago. The rock formations in the Alabama foothills set against the Sierra Nevada mountains are a spectacular sight…so many westerns were made (here).

What are California’s essential landmarks? Fill out this form to send us your photos of a special place in California — natural or man-made. Tell us why it’s interesting and what makes it a symbol of life in the Golden State. Be sure to only include photos taken directly by you. Your presentation may appear in a future issue of the newsletter.

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments to essentialcalifornia@WhatsNewDay.com.