May 8, 2018Statement
SEIU Local 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. LAUSD has committed a variety of unfair labor practices against our sisters and brothers in Local 99. 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. These unfair practices include unilateral district changes detrimental to the work of special ed assistants, illegal surveillance of before-school picketing earlier in the year, interference with Local 99’s strike vote, and more.
On May 15, Local 99 will strike for one day in protest of these unfair labor practices. The strike will be carried out at dozens of worksites and schools across the city.
On May 7, the UTLA Board of Directors voted unanimously to sympathy strike on May 15 at all affected worksites and schools. We have the legal right to do this. This means that we are calling on our members to withhold service for the entire day on May 15 at every worksite at which there is a Local 99 picket line. We are urging our members at the affected schools, instead of providing service that day, to join the picket lines at their school/worksites as we build solidarity and power to confront the unfair labor practices of LAUSD.
We are urging all at affected schools to participate—probationary employees, substitutes, etc. We all have the legal right to do so.
If your school has not been targeted for a picket line, and doesn’t have one on May 15, you should work on that day.
We are also asking ALL members, whether you worked that day or not, to, after school, attend the May 15 School Board meeting. This is the first meeting with Austin Beutner as superintendent, and Local 99 will be rallying to demand an immediate resolution to the unfair labor practices.
Later this week, we will be providing chapter chairs with an FAQ on this one-day sympathy strike action and a list of worksites and schools at which Local 99 expects picket lines. The UTLA officers will be giving up the day’s pay on May 15 in recognition of Local 99’s action and in solidarity with UTLA members who are withholding service for the day and, therefore, will not be paid.
This is a historic and crucial action and we couldn’t be prouder to be involved.