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After strike, LA school district workers approve labor deal

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Workers at the Los Angeles Unified School District have approved a labor agreement following a three-day strike over wages and staff that halted education for students at one of the nation’s largest school systems.

The agreement, voted on this week, would raise wages by 30% for workers who are paid an average of $25,000 a year, the Local 99 chapter of the Service Employees International Union said Saturday. It also includes a $1,000 bonus for employees who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic and extended family health care.

The contract is subject to approval by the school district Board of Education. The school district said the board could put it to a vote at an April 18 meeting.

Thousands of workers, backed by teachers, went on strike last month and gathered outside the school district’s headquarters in downtown Los Angeles amid stalled contract talks. The aim was to demand better wages and more staff for the bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teacher assistants and other workers represented by the union.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass thanked the school district and the union for reaching an agreement in late March following the strike.

“We must continue to work together to address our city’s high cost of living, enhance opportunity and support more funding for LA’s public schools, which are the single most determining factor for our city’s future,” the Democrat said in a statement. declaration.

The SEIU said many district support workers live in poverty because of low wages or limited work hours as they struggle with inflation and the high cost of housing in Los Angeles County.

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The school district serves more than half a million students in the area, an enrollment size second only to the New York City Public Schools system.

Max Arias, the union’s executive director, hailed the deal as “a big step” to improve wages, hours and benefits for workers who have been “left to their own devices for far too long”.

“This contract recognizes the essential work of those who work hard to ensure that students can learn in a clean, safe and supportive environment,” Arias said in a statement.

At the time of the strike, Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho had accused the union of refusing to negotiate.



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