The Los Angeles Unified School District and the union representing 30,000 school employees have agreed on a deal following a three-day strike.
The demonstrations garnered the attention of L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, who tried to act as a mediator to broker a deal between the two sides.
"We must all come together to support L.A. public schools, which are the most powerful determinant of our city's future," said Bass. "So, I am grateful we were able to find an agreement to move forward today."
Max Arias, executive director of Service Employees International Union Local 99, thanked Mayor Bass for her help mediating the agreement.
"On behalf of all SEIU 99 members including the 30,000 members who we represent at LAUSD, we appreciate Mayor Bass for stepping in and allowing us to find a pathway to communicate and finally reach an agreement that is historic with LAUSD," said Arias.
The tentative deal includes a 30% wage increase, retroactive active pay of $4,000-$8,000 depending on job classification, including a $1000 bonus for all, an increase to average annual salary from $25,000 to $33,000, seven hours of work guaranteed for Special Education Assistants and fully-paid health care benefits for teacher assistants, community representatives, after school program workers and their families.
It will now go to the union members who will vote for approval.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho also described the tentative agreement as a "historic deal."
"I've said since I arrived in Los Angeles that impossible conditions faced by many of our employees, many of our children and their families are real," said Carvalho. "Whether it is the unaffordability of housing. Whether it is the unhoused nature of many of our children, or their parents, or in some cases many of our workforce."
The custodians, cafeteria workers and special education aides, represented by SEIU, went on strike after reaching an impasse during labor negotiations with LAUSD. At the time, the two sides could not agree on the terms for higher wages and better working conditions.
One of the core snags revolved around the union's demand for a 30% pay increase. This week the district upped its offer to a 23% overall increase, along with with a 3% cash bonus. However, union members said that the counteroffer would be spread out over time which would not do much when the average salary currently sits at about $25,000 a year.
The impasse prompted the union to leave the bargaining table and set up picket lines for three days. In solidarity, the United Teachers Los Angeles marched with SEIU, doubling the number of workers on strike and forcing the district to close classrooms for the duration of the demonstrations.
Workers and teachers protested throughout L.A., with thousands protesting outside LAUSD headquarters on Tuesday. The strike ended on Thursday with a huge rally at the Los Angeles State Historic Park.
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