Los Angeles School District Strike Comes to an End
AISHANI SELLATHURAI Editor in Chief
On January 2019, more than 300,000 teachers all around Los Angeles went on a strike. The strike, which lasted six school days, ended on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 22. The union United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) which represents teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) negotiated on a new contract for over a year with officials from the district.
According to the New York Times, UTLA’s requests included a full time nurse for each school. Many schools only had a nurse once a week. The union also requested a raise for teachers, along with more counselors and librarians to serve students. Even though there is a $1.8 billion reserve, the district claimed that it was not enough to supply improvement toward increasing the wages, creating new educational programs and hiring full time staffers.
Charter schools and class sizes was another major issue brought up in the negotiations. It is difficult for public schools to compete against charter schools because charters can deplete public school funding and students can leave public schools to join charters. “Charter schools make up around 18% of schools in the LAUSD,” Javier Gutierrez, bargaining committee member of the Alhambra Teachers Association (ATA) said.
“Which expands on the problem of privatization in schools all around the country.”
On Friday morning, Jan. 18 teachers from ATA members and other supporters gathered in front of the school for a rally to represent their support for the LAUSD teachers. They proudly waved signs that read, “I Stand With LA Teachers” in both English and Spanish while parents dropped their children off at school. Alhambra City Council members Adele Andrade-Stadler and Katherine Lee also joined the protest.
“We just finished our contract negotiation… last year, and to be honest, I think we have a really strong contract with our teachers,” ATA segment director and history teacher David Jauregui said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that a final contract between the UTLA and LAUSD will give teachers a 6 percent raise. Schools will be given more nurses and counselors. The agreement, the final votes of which should be in by Friday, also promises to lower class sizes by one student per class.