May 9, 2018Statement
LAUSD must now address our negotiations
Above, members from Dahlia Heights ES picket outside their school site during our #ARMMEWITH campaign on April 19, 2018.
After more than one year of escalating actions tied to their bargaining demands — including UTLA’s commitment to a May 15 Unfair Labor Practice sympathy strike — SEIU Local 99 reached a Tentative Agreement with LAUSD yesterday.
“Our bargaining team believes this is a fair agreement that addresses all of our contract bargaining priorities and recommends a YES vote,” said Max Arias, Executive Director of SEIU Local 99, in a statement. The TA agreement includes economic improvements and improved staffing levels, and it addresses the unfair labor practices. To read key highlights of the TA reached between SEIU 99 and LAUSD, click here. There will be no ULP strike on May 15.
The ULPs were tied to unilateral district changes detrimental to the work of special education assistants, illegal surveillance of before-school picketing earlier in the year, interference with Local 99’s strike vote, and other ULPs.
Last Friday, the district declared impasse and gave its last, best, and final offer to SEIU 99.
On Monday, UTLA held an emergency Board of Directors meeting, where a unanimous vote was given to support Local 99’s one-day ULP strike on May 15. The strike was set to take place at a large number of school sites throughout the city where the labor practice violations had taken place. UTLA also voted on Monday to support a massive, parallel action at the LAUSD School Board on May 15, the first day on the job for new superintendent Austin Beutner.
On Tuesday, LAUSD reached out to SEIU 99 to meet and negotiate. Later that day, a deal was reached. This speaks to the power of solidarity and a year-long escalation plan that included worksite picketing, a 94% YES vote for strike authorization, and announcement of a one-day strike on May 15.
UTLA has been in the forefront of supporting our co-workers’ fight against these unfair practices and in support of their workplace rights and respect. SEIU 99 represents workers who are essential to our schools—custodians, bus drivers, warehouse workers, building and grounds workers, special education assistants, teaching assistants, cafeteria workers, campus aides, and more.
Now it is time for LAUSD to address UTLA’s key bargaining priorities, including lower class size, increased per-pupil funding, fair wages, and increased staffing, including nurses, counselors, psychologists, and librarians.
For more information on UTLA’s bargaining priorities and our upcoming citywide contract action “Rally for Respect” on May 24, click here.