Saturday, June 10, 2023

Striking U.S. teachers shut down schools, demand salary increase

On Tuesday, thousands of Los Angeles school employees will begin a three-day strike cancelling classes for 422,000 students to demand a 30 per cent increase in pay.

• March 21, 2023
U.S Teachers protesting
U.S Teachers protesting [Photo Credit; OpenDemocracy]

On Tuesday, thousands of Los Angeles school employees will begin a three-day strike cancelling classes for 422,000 students to demand a 30 per cent increase in pay.

The union representing 30,000 support workers in the Los Angeles unified school district is demanding a 30 per cent increase in pay, stating that many employees make little more than the minimum wage and struggle to afford the cost of living.

The Los Angeles teachers’ union has asked its 35,000 members to walk out in solidarity and to avoid crossing the support workers’ picket lines.

The Los Angeles Unified School District leaders have stated that a walkout by the teachers union and the support workers union will mean that over 1,000 schools would be closed down.

The Los Angeles Unified is made up of a variety of nonteaching jobs, like bus drivers, cafeteria workers, special education assistants and gardeners.

The union announced on Monday that its members would strike for three days, Tuesday to Thursday.

The union is seeking a 30 per cent overall raise, an additional $2-an-hour increase for the lowest-paid workers.

United Teachers Los Angeles, representing teachers and some other district employees, are standing in solidarity with the Los Angeles Unified union by asking its 35,000 members to a walkout.

So far, Karen Bass, the new mayor of Los Angeles, and Governor Gavin Newsom of California, both Democrats, have not interfered in the dispute.

This is because, in Los Angeles, the mayor does not control the school district. An independently elected board runs the school district.

A state board said over the weekend that it would not impose an injunction against the strike.

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