A planned three-day walkout by Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and staff is looming and is scheduled for next week.
The anticipated strike would be the longest total disruption to education in the nation’s second-largest school system since the six-day teachers’ strike in 2019 and would upend a school system trying to recover from the pandemic.
The strike would close schools attended by more than 420,000 students.
Here is what you need to know.
When would the strike happen?
It would start on Tuesday and run until Thursday of the next week.
Who would participate?
The strike would include as many as 65,000 workers.
The strike would be spearheaded by SEIU Local 99. Local 99 represents about 30,000 workers, including bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria and other food service workers, campus security assistants, teaching assistants, and assistants for students with disabilities.
Local 99 would join a solidarity walkout from UTLA, which represents 35,000 teachers, counselors, therapists, nurses and librarians.
What are the problems?
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 district is offering a rolling 5% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2021, an additional continuous 5% salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2022, and a 5% salary increase effective July 1, 2023 In addition, employees would receive a one-time 4% “retention bonus” for the current school year and a one-time 5% bonus the following year.
The teachers union is seeking a 20% raise over two years, starting with 10% for the current school year.
Local 99 leaders said their walkout would be in protest of LAUSD’s alleged illegal actions during the bargaining process. Such actions, called strike for “unfair labor practices” by the National Labor Relations Boardthey are usually of a fixed duration and can be organized without going through the bargaining steps that usually precede an indefinite strike, according to the unions.
LAUSD officials have denied any wrongdoing.
What does LAUSD say?
Los Angeles superintendent of schools. Alberto Carvalho said that he and the district negotiators are prepared to meet 24 hours a day to avoid the strike.
He said a strike would further hurt more than 420,000 students trying to recover academically and emotionally from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced them into distance learning for more than a year.
Officials said there was still time to avoid a strike, but some were turning pessimistic.
School board president Jackie Goldberg, who earlier expressed optimism that there would be no strike, seemed Wednesday less safe.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been doing this that there hasn’t been back and forth,” Goldberg said. “There was a statement of: ‘This is it. And that is.’ That’s not negotiations. I am very disappointed.”
How would it affect students?
Schools would be closed during a strike.
Carvalho said in an email to the 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.”
She added that the district is in discussions with community groups about how they can help distribute food on school days and help with childcare for families. The district is also preparing academic materials for students to take home, she said.