Support School Workers Struggling With Dire Poverty

Target: Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District

Goal: Ensure better learning conditions in LA schools by supporting workers’ rights.

Los Angeles is witnessing a historic strike organized by more than 30,000 school workers. The teacher’s union has also joined in solidarity with the severely underpaid workers who are demanding a 30% salary raise and an additional $2 per hour for the lowest-paid members. The three-day strike, by the Service Employees International Union Local 99 (SEIU Local 99), was organized as last-minute negotiations with the school district failed to conclude. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the national second-largest, encompassing more than 500,000 students in LA, 25 other cities, and adjoining county areas. Cecily Myart-Cruz, the President of the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), said that teachers cannot sit idly by as they witness co-workers “disrespected and mistreated by this district.” SEIU Local 99 informed that support staffers earn an average income of $25,000 per year, a pay scale that’s driving them to abject poverty. The union also cited inflation and the growing cost of housing in the county to justify their demands.

The White House informed that President Joe Biden supports worker’s rights and is hopeful of a suitable resolution of the collective bargaining process. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized ‘good faith’ to find the way to a ‘mutually acceptable solution.’ Many parents and kids also rallied in support of the service workers.

The LAUSD has offered a cumulative 23% raise and a one-time 3% bonus for workers on the job for more than a year. The raise would be calculated as 2% retroactive as of the 2020-21 school year, culminating with 5% in 2024-25. SEIU members are currently working without a contract since June 2020. The union finally decided to stop accepting contract extensions until their demands are met. LAUSD has termed its offer as ‘historic’ and has blamed SEIU for ‘simply refusing to negotiate.’

Workers displayed banners, “We keep schools safe. Respect us.” They chanted, “We are the future.” A union member said, “We really need to be here to have our voices heard.” Sign the petition to stand in solidarity with the striking education staff.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Superintendent Carvalho,

Thousands of embittered school employees in the district have been striking to demand a 30% pay rise that has been long due. SEIU has claimed that they earn at par with the minimum wage scale, and have to struggle to stay above the poverty line. The strike is supported by UTLA, which has stated that their co-workers are disrespected and mistreated by the district.

LAUSD has put an offer of a 23% pay hike on the table, but SEIU says it is unacceptable. The workers union claims that the offer is not sufficiently adjusted with inflation and the growing costs of housing in the county.

LAUSD has said that it is a ‘historic’ offer, but it remains to see which side of history you are on. The White House has supported the striking workers, and so have many parents and kids.

We demand LAUSD comply with the demands of SEIU to end the stalemate.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: MChe Lee


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652 Signatures

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