LAUSD employee strike looms as union claims negotiations have stalled

As the looming strike of Los Angeles Unified School District employees nears, negotiations continue, but whether a deal can be struck remains to be seen.

The Service Employees International Union, which represents about 30,000 teachers’ aides, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other support staff, said its members earn about $25,000 per year on average, and they want a 30% pay raise.

United Teachers of Los Angeles, which represents about 34,000 LAUSD educators in the district, is siding with the staffers’ union and plans to honor the picket line. Teachers are also hoping for a 20% raise over two years.

LAUSD Superintendent Albert Carvalho told KTLA that the district is working to avert the strike, offering a 15% increase among other benefits in its latest proposal.

“We cannot be in a position of offering more than we can support, and then a year later, either impose furloughs, firings or reductions in programs,” he said. “The district did that back in 2008. I will not do that.”

Eduardo Jacobo of SEIU Local 99 said the union is not considering that offer from Carvalho.

“He wants to meet at the bargaining table but … he’s not listening to us,” Jacobo explained. “It’s like you’re trying to bring us back, but you’re not. You’re just offering the same thing.”

If no deal is reached and the LAUSD employees strike on Tuesday, about 1,000 campuses will close, the Los Angeles Times reports, leaving school district officials scrambling to come up with stopgap measures for schoolwork, child care and food programs, among other challenges.

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