Los Angeles, CA – Cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and other dedicated school workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have voted to ratify a new contract agreement. A tentative agreement was reached on May 8 between SEIU Local 99 and LAUSD, just days before workers were set to go on an unfair practice strike. Union members voted on the agreement from May 16- May 31, with an overwhelming 97% of voters approving it. LAUSD School Board members are scheduled to vote on the agreement on June 12.
“This was a hard-won agreement that begins to recognize the hard work and dedication of those who create the clean, safe, and supportive environment our students need to learn,” said Max Arias, Executive Director of SEIU Local 99. “We are proud that we secured wage increases that will help working families provide some stability for their children and provisions that will improve staffing for special needs students and school cleanliness. We look forward to continuing to work with LAUSD to ensure that front line student support staff has a strong voice in decisions impacting the services we provide, the quality of our schools, and the well-being of our communities.”
Highlights of the three-year (2017-2020) agreement covering 30,000 school workers include:
- A wage increase of 3-4% the first year and an additional 3-4% wage supplement in the second year that will become an ongoing raise if the District has a positive budget projection as of March 2019. We are confident in the District’s funding because they have a healthy surplus and there are positive projections for education funding from the state.
- A “me-too” clause that guarantees higher wages if another bargaining unit negotiates a higher wage without giving up other economics;
- A permanent wage differential that will help recruit and retain staff providing critical services to special needs students, including Sign Language Interpreters, Speech & Language Pathology Assistants, and School Occupational Therapy Assistants;
- $2 Million School Cleanliness Fund to help address the severe shortage of custodians;
- Behavior Intervention Implementation Provider (BII) Pilot Program to improve staffing for special needs students;
- $400,000 Education and Training Fund to retain and promote dedicated LAUSD education workers
- Expanded Labor Management Committees to ensure front line workers continue to have a strong voice in the delivery of student services.
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.