SEIU Local 99 Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify Contract Agreement with LAUSD

This agreement makes history with landmark $15 minimum wage!

It also makes waves across school districts nationwide!

It significantly raises salary standards at LAUSD for years to come!

After three days of voting, we ratified our new contract agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District and partcipated like never before to make our voices heard for Quality Schools and Better Lives.

82% Vote “Yes!”

665% higher participation than our last contract ratification

CLICK HERE for the full contract language

Below is a summary of our new contract:

Members currently earning below $15/hour will receive the following increases:

  • Effective July 1, 2014 – $11/hour minimum
  • July 1, 2015 – $13/hour minimum
  • July 1, 2016 – $15/hour minimum

Members currently earning $15/hour or above will receive the following across-the-board wage increases:

  • Effective July 1, 2014 – 2%
  • July 1, 2015 – 2%
  • July 1, 2016 – 2.5%

We agreed to continue negotiations with the District to ensure all members have access to health care benefits.

More than 30,000 SEIU Local 99 members currently work less than 8-hours a day. This agreement establishes a committee to specifically work on increasing hours and preventing further reductions to our hours and work year. Additionally, the agreement specifically calls for an increase in the number of full time positions in Units B & C by District seniority. This committee will also address gaining more access to our vacation days. The District agreed to reduce the amount of black-out days for vacation usage and, for Units B & C, we agreed to have further conversations about protecting loss of vacation days.

A Fair Job Evaluation System
The District will work with Local 99 members to pilot a new evaluation system before it is implemented. Members will be able to participate in the pilot on a voluntary basis during work hours. All member volunteers completing the pilot program will receive a one-time payment of $200.00. Local 99 and the District will meet to agree on any changes to the evaluation program before it is implemented District-wide.

Improved Job Safety and Work Materials
This joint Local 99/LAUSD Committee will give us a voice to address and resolve issues that impact our work lives, including adequate break and restrooms in transportation yards, bullying at work, and ensuring we have sufficient materials and supplies to do our work.

Increased Training and Opportunities for Advancement
Local 99 and the District will establish a committee to increase training and job promotion opportunities for Local 99 members.

Under this agreement, a grievance will not need the individual signatures of all SEIU Local 99 members who are affected by the grievance. Instead, we’ll be able to file a class action, or group grievance, by just including the name.

The District will allow SEIU Local 99 30-minutes at each new employee orientation meeting to let them know about our contract and their rights on the job.

Effective July 1, 2015, the District will implement a semi-monthly pay system. The District agreed that any SEIU Local 99 members experiencing hardship as a result of this new pay system will be able to apply for financial assistance. This new semi-monthly pay system will help reduce the number of overpayment errors that have annually burdened thousands of Local 99 members.

OASIS stands for Optimizing Access to Services, Increasing Success. It is a new program spearheaded by SEIU Local 99 which is being piloted at four schools this summer through the 2014-15 school year. The District and Local 99 will work to expand this program in our communities which will connect students and families with services that promote health and financial literacy as well as academic achievement. The goal of the OASIS program is also to increase work hours for many Local 99 members and create more good jobs.

In a side letter, we also reached an agreement to restore the special education work hours lost in 2012.





We discussed our wage proposal in more detail. We also discussed specific language related to a committee structure to address key worksite issues such as work assignments, training, and safety.


As we discuss wage details, talks are difficult but we will continue to push forward for a fair contract. Nearly 20,000 Local 99 members earn less than $15/hour and many of these members are also parents of LAUSD students.  We must lift working families out of poverty!


Our next bargaining session is scheduled for today Wednesday, June 25. Post your message of support for our bargaining team on our Facebook page.


Send a message to the LAUSD School Board. Let them know we’re united for a strong contract that will mean justice and opportunity for thousands of working families. It’s easy! Step one is to simply click here!

To download a flyer with the June 23, 2014 Bargaining Update. Click Here


Update for June 20, 2014 Bargaining Session


We had a very positive bargaining session. We finally had a real discussion about our wages and began to make some significant progress.


Our Bargaining Team is “very optimistic.” But, of course, things can change and we need to keep standing strong.


We will head back to the bargaining table on Monday, June 23. We hope to get to more specifics on Monday. Stay tuned…


Update for June 18, 2014 Bargaining Session


The District responded to our proposal to create sub-committees to address worksite issues with a very vague and short proposal about “Classified Growth & Development Cycle” dealing with evaluation procedures. They said the new evaluation procedure will require employees to perform a self-assessment online. When we asked if the District would provide training, time at work, and access to computers to complete this self-assessment, they had no answers.

They also presented us with a Letter of Agreement to change pay days from a monthly to a semi-monthly basis. This letter was premature. The District had no assurances that employees won’t experience hardship when the District switches to this new payroll system.  They do claim the new payroll system will save money and avoid over-payments. But when we asked them how exactly it would do this, they had no answers.


Frankly, we’re disappointed that the District is not taking the time to present us with meaningful proposals. Our SEIU Local 99 Bargaining Team has given the District detailed proposals. But the District has come back with general, short, and pretty much thoughtless counter proposals. And on our wages, they’ve come back with nothing at all.


We’re back at the bargaining table on Friday, June 20. We’ve made it clear to the District that we’re bargaining in good faith, it’s time they respond with real proposals. Stay tuned …

CLICK HERE to download a flyer with the Bargaining Update for June 18. Post it on the SEIU Local 99 bulletin board at your worksite or distribute it to your co-workers.


Bargaining Update: June 16, 2014

What Happened: Our Bargaining Team presented our detailed proposals to the District, including our wage proposal for $15/hr and a 15% wage increase for members earning more than $15/hr. We proposed a 5% increase over three years, with a minimum hourly rate for each year of $11, $13, and $15. We made it clear that Local 99 members are among the lowest paid workers in the District and many of us work less than eight hours a day. The District offered us their contract proposals but asked us to ignore the 2% wage proposal in their document. We reminded them that we agreed to a faster bargaining process because we believe the District is open to moving forward with a wage offer that will lift workers out of poverty – and we will hold them to it.

We also proposed a new set of committees to give employees real input on issues that impact our jobs and working conditions, including work hours and work year, health and safety, and training and promotions. The District said they were open to further discussing the job evaluation process and payroll systems.

How We Feel: Our Bargaining Team left negotiations “cautiously pleased.” We still have a long way to go and we still haven’t seen a real wage counter proposal, but our talks indicated that the District is open to discussing 15/15. Let’s keep pushing forward.

What’s Next: The District said we can expect a wage proposal at our next bargaining session on Wednesday, June 18.

In the meantime, we made our voices heard at the June 17 School Board Meeting where the District discussed its budget. Two of our Bargaining Team Members, Anita Gustafson and Rafael Sanchez spoke out at the Board meeting about the need to raise wages to 15/15.

Take Action: If you are working this summer, be sure to show your support by wearing purple or your “I’m Fighting for 15” button to work on bargaining days: June 18, 20,23,25,27, and 30.


Bargaining Update: June 12, 2014

Before our scheduled June 11 bargaining session, the District approached us and said they were willing to address key economic issues immediately with us – including our proposals for a $15/hour minimum wage and 15% wage increase for members earning more than $15/hr.

The District said they’d be willing to meet more often this month to move the bargaining process at a quicker pace. We agreed to hold seven bargaining sessions before the end of the month. Like everyone else, we want to get this process completed soon, but only if we get what Local 99 members need and want. We jointly agreed to cancel yesterday’s session in order to prepare for expedited bargaining over the next few weeks.

We will be bargaining on the following dates: June 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30. We will let you know if there are any changes. Look for updates within 24 hours of bargaining.

While we are bargaining quickly in June, we will not sacrifice any of our members’ key priorities such as 15/15, greater access to benefits for all, increases to work hours, greater job protections, and our other key proposals. And if the expedited process doesn’t work for us, we will go back to a more traditional bargaining schedule.

Show Your Support!
Wear Purple
If you are on a summer school assignment or working through the summer break, wear your “We’re Fighting for 15!” button or wear purple to work on bargaining days. Take pictures of you and your co-workers showing support and share them on our Facebook page at SEIU Local 99. And don’t forget to LIKE our page!

First Bargaining Session Update – June 3, 2014

What Happened at our First Bargaining Session

We had a very productive first meeting. After initial introductions and opening remarks, we quickly came to agreement on basic procedural matters going forward. Among the most important of these was a joint agreement between Local 99 and the District that we would rotate bargaining session locations between the District office, the main Local 99 union office, and local school sites around the city to enable our members to view negotiations.

Local 99 Bargaining Team members then presented our initial demands to the District. CLICK HERE to view our presentation notes. Each of our Team members spent a few minutes explaining our individual proposals to give the District’s bargaining team a sense of not only what we are proposing, but why we are proposing it as well.

The District did not present proposals, but did indicate that they will be offering a one-time bonus for the 2013-14 school year of 2% and then an additional 2% increase to the wage schedule for 2014-15. They also indicated they would rather focus on “non-monetary” issues such as health and safety during initial sessions, but we were able to convince them that we need to address financial first if we are to reach an acceptable agreement in a timely way.

How We Feel About It

Our proposals were generally well received by the District team (which was comprised of the District’s Chief Labor Negotiator, Vivian Ekchian, members of the LAUSD Labor Relations Department, and an attorney from the Office of General Counsel). We were obviously disappointed with the District’s initial wage increase offer that we have no intention of accepting, but at this point we are cautiously optimistic that the District will engage in real bargaining to reach an agreement that works for both parties.

What’s Next

Our next negotiations session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 11th at the District office. We’ll be providing the District with more detailed proposals around our demands for higher wages, better hours, and benefits for all of our members. The District also indicated that it will begin to bring its initial proposals to the table for discussion.

What Can You Do?

Our Bargaining Team is committed to working hard at the bargaining table to make sure we win a strong contract. But our team can’t win alone. The District needs to know that behind every member at the bargaining table, we have thousands of Local 99 members taking action in our worksites and communities.

As many of you head into summer break, it’s important to stay informed and stay active:

  •  Join the Phone-A-Thon

Now through June 12, Monday – Thursday

1:30pm – 6pm – Come for as long as you can

At SEIU Local 99’s Main Office

2724 W. 8th St. Los Angeles, CA 90005

We’re calling our co-workers to let them know how important it is to stand united with our union and become an official member.

To RSVP call 213-637-0296

  •  Check for updates on this web page.

  •  Sign-Up for Text Alerts and be notified every time we have a bargaining update. Text SEIU99 to 787753

  •  Like Us on Facebook. Get bargaining updates and see how other members are taking action.


Our Proposals

Over seven months, from October 2013 to April 2014, SEIU Local 99 members working at LAUSD came together in school sites throughout Los Angeles to discuss our priorities for our next contract with the District. We had a lot to say about how to restore student services after years of devastating cuts. We also spoke out as parents of children in LAUSD schools and as members of the communities where we work. We shared our personal concerns over the impact of cutbacks on the quality of education in our neighborhood schools, and our struggles to provide for our own children on poverty-level wages.

Ultimately, from these conversations, we drafted our proposals for a new contract that were presented to the L.A. Unified School Board on May 13. We’re letting LAUSD know that we’re united and ready to fight for:

  • Our Families: $15 per hour minimum wage and 15% increase for workers earning more than $15

  • Our Students: Increased work hours to ensure full support for student success

  • Our Communities: Expansion of OASIS program to create more good jobs and provide betters services for students and families

CLICK HERE to read our full proposals.

Hundreds Join Rally for Quality Schools, Better Lives To Kick-Off Contract Bargaining

After a week of spirited actions at school sites throughout the District, hundreds of SEIU Local 99 members rallied at Lafayette Park on Saturday, May 17 to kick-off our contract bargaining campaign. We let the District know that we’re ready to “Fight for 15” to lift our families out of poverty and improve staffing and services in our schools.

We were joined by LAUSD School Board Member Steve Zimmer who agrees that LAUSD workers should earn a living wage, Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra who is leading the fight in Sacramento for Summer Unemployment Insurance Benefits for School Workers, Senator Kevin De Leon, Senator Ricardo Lara, Assembly Members Reggie Jones Sawyer and Steven Bradford, and Santa Monica Malibu Unified School Board Member Ben Allen.

Community members and parents also showed their support. Maria Brenes, Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle, Alberto Retana, Vice President of Community Coalition, and Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Labor Federation spoke out saying they stand with us in our fight to win quality schools and better lives.

We’re just getting started. The first bargaining dates have been set for June 3, 11, and 18. Keep checking back to this web page for updates.

See photos from the rally! Want to see the complete gallery? Click here.

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