24-Hour Work Stoppage Calls for School District to Respect Front Line Student Support Staff
Bus Drivers, Cafeteria Workers, Special Education Assistants, Custodians and other school workers at the Los Angeles Unified School District have set May 15 for a 24-hour strike to protest the school district’s unfair labor practices and demand that LAUSD respect workers who provide front line student services. An overwhelming 94% of voters authorized a strike last month.
SEIU Local 99 filed charges with the Public Employment Relations Board to protest the District’s decision to unilaterally cut the hours of Special Education Assistants even as they were negotiating over staffing and work hours. Additional charges have been filed for discrimination and coercion of workers engaging in union activities, including the district’s interference in SEIU Local 99’s strike authorization vote at some school sites.
“Enough is enough,” said Tanya Walters, an LAUSD Bus Driver and Vice President of SEIU Local 99. “We’re trying to work with the District to address issues that impact our students. But instead of listening to those of us who work with students on the frontlines every day, they have bullied and harassed workers who speak up. And they’ve made staffing cuts and changes without speaking with those of us who do the work. We don’t want to strike, but we will move forward on May 15 if the District continues to disrespect our voices and disregard our work.”
SEIU Local 99 is a union of 35,000 education workers in K-12 schools, early education centers and homes, administrative offices, and community colleges throughout Southern California, including 30,000 cafeteria workers, special education assistants, custodians, bus drivers and others providing essential student services at LAUSD schools. Nearly 50% of SEIU Local 99 members are also parents or guardians of school-aged children. 70% of SEIU 99 members are graduates of LAUSD schools and a great majority are members of the predominantly Black and Latino communities they serve.
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