LAUSD workers vote to authorize strike
Thousands of Los Angeles Unified employees — including cafeteria workers, bus drivers and custodians — have voted to authorize a strike, the union representing those workers said in a statement.
The vote does not declare a strike but gives permission to the union’s bargaining team to call a strike if needed. The strike authorization was supported by 96% of the SEIU Local 99 members.
The union has been negotiating for a new contract with the district since April of last year, seeking better wages, more full-time workers and increased staffing levels. With the two sides at an impasse, a state mediator will now be overseeing negotiations. A mediation session is scheduled for Feb. 21, according to the union.
“Workers have sent a clear message to the school district that we demand respect,” Edna Logan, a custodian and member of the bargaining team, said in a statement. “During the pandemic we disinfected schools and kept our communities fed. This is a reminder that we’re still essential. LAUSD needs to value our work and respect our rights.”
The district said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that it is “committed to fair and equitable negotiations that offset the pressures of inflation for all employees who serve our students and school” and that it is hopeful the two sides reach an agreement.