Los Angeles teachers and classified workers plan three-day strike
Steven L. Robinson
Los Angeles teachers, other workers plan three-day strike as labor woes explode
By Howard Blume, Staff Writer/Los Angeles Times/March 11, 2023
The Los Angeles teachers union plans to join an anticipated three-day strike — possibly within two weeks — with thousands of L.A. Unified’s non-teaching workers, actions that would likely shut down schools amid an explosion of labor discontent.
While attention typically focuses on teachers because of their vital role and political clout, the contribution of Local 99 members also is essential. Students rely on the meals cooked and served by Local 99 members. Its members drive buses, provide supervision during breaks and before and after school, keep restrooms stocked and cleaned and help take care of students with disabilities. But many of the job categories are low-paying — in L.A. Unified and elsewhere.
The average annual pay for the unit with instructional aides, including those for special education, is $27,531. The average for the unit that includes bus drivers, custodians and food-service workers is $31,825. Teacher assistants on average make $22,657. Those in the unit that includes after-school program workers average $14,576.
The vast majority, about 24,000 Local 99 members, work fewer than eight hours a day. About 6,000 work eight-hour jobs. Many union members are part of households with school-age students, including many in L.A. Unified.
The teachers union was firm in telling members to support a Local 99 strike.
“You do not go into work,” UTLA advised. “You should join the [Local 99] picket line at your school site. If there is not a picket line at your school site, you should join one at a nearby school. There will be rallies during the strike and everyone should plan on attending those as well.”
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