LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Thousands of LAUSD employees are expected to go on a three-day strike next week, leading to the closure of district schools.
SEIU Local 99, representing some 30,000 cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and other workers, says it has reached an impasse in negotiations with Los Angeles Unified and will strike starting Tuesday.
And the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, which is undergoing its own negotiations, plans to honor SEIU’s action by also striking.
The two unions combined represent some 65,000 workers.
Thousands of members attended a rally in Grand Park on Wednesday to announce the strike.
“We are preparing to strike because after nearly a year of negotiations with the district, they have not been fruitful,” said Blanca Gallegos with SEIU Local 99. “Workers are asking for a living wage. Right now workers of LAUSD earn below the poverty line.”
The district says its latest offer to the union was: a 5% wage increase retroactive to July 2021, another 5% increase retroactive to July 2022 and another 5% increase effective July 2023, along with a 4% bonus in 2022-23 and a 5% bonus in 2023-24.
But the SEIU is looking for a combined total 30% increase in wages over the course of the next multiyear contract.
Union officials have said the affected workers earn an average salary of $25,000 a year and have been working without a contract since June 2020.
LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is urging the union to return to the bargaining table.
“I am asking, I am inviting our labor unions to an immediate and ongoing conversation, in an environment where we do not leave that environment until such time as solutions are arrived at,” Carvalho said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
DEVELOPING: This story will be updated.
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