Protesting the district's 'surveillance of members who participated in last month's strike vote'
The Los Angeles teachers union plans to join the anticipated three-day strike that L.A. Unified’s non-teaching workers will be holding, possibly within the next two weeks.
United Teachers Los Angeles – which represents about 35,000 teachers, counselors, therapists, nurses and librarians – will be joining the labor action to be led by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 – which represents 30,000 cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and others.
“Our joint rally is the first sign of our powerful solidarity,” said SEIU Local 99 in a bargaining update. This would likely shut down schools, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Just like SEIU, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is also in the middle of negotiations as they seek a 20% wage increase over two years, among other pleas, according to a report from the LA Times.
On Friday, UTLA sent a letter to L.A. Unified Supt. Alberto Carvalho, saying it was terminating its contract with the district. This would allow its members to join Local 99’s strike.
“Terminating the contract takes away from LAUSD executing a frivolous legal argument that they raised in 2019 that terminating the contract must occur before ... UTLA as an organization can engage” in a strike, a union FAQ states, according to the LA Times report.
The union was referring to an attempt by L.A. Unified to delay or halt what became a six-day teachers' strike in January 2019.
In November last year, about 48,000 academic workers at University of California campuses walked off the job to ask for better pay and benefits in the largest strike of that year.
Last month, 96% of SEIU Local 99 members voted for a strike action. The move will be to speak up against the injustices that education workers face, said the union.
“Over three days we can show the district that we are fed-up with their disrespect and not afraid to take strong action to demand respect for our work,” Local 99 stated in a Saturday email to members, according to an LA Times report. “This is a lawful strike to protest the district’s unfair practices, including threats, interrogation and surveillance of members who participated in last month’s strike vote.”
SEIU Local 99 claimed that throughout the strike vote and during the bargaining process, the school district subjected workers to surveillance, intimidation and harassment.
Dozens of unfair labor practice charges were filed with the California Public Employee Relations board to protest LAUSD’s unlawful interference in workers’ right to vote and participate in union activities.