LAUSD teachers preparing for potential strike

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- After 20 months of negotiations, the teachers union says a strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District is imminent.

Union members approved a strike in August. There have been mediation meetings and fact finding reports. The next one from a neutral third party is due out sometime next week.

"We don't know the exact date but it's after that point that the district can offer its best and last offer and we can legally strike," said Arlene Inouye, the secretary and bargaining chair for United Teachers Los Angeles.

UTLA says there are 22 issues on the table. Among them: reducing class sizes, providing nurses and counselors daily at every school, addressing charter school accountability and giving teachers more discretion with non-mandatory standardized tests.

"We're far apart. We are not agreeing on the issues," Inouye said.

UTLA also asked a 6 and-a-half percent increase in salaries. In October LAUSD agreed to a 6 percent salary increase and set boundaries to safeguard increasing class sizes.

The district has been distributing Family Resource guides to inform parents what to expect with a strike. Schools will remain open, the hours will not change and students are expected to attend classes.

When teachers went on strike in 1989, it lasted nine days and roughly half of the 640,000 students in the district skipped school after the first day.

LAUSD is urging parents to send their kids to school. District staff will be supervising students and they are even encouraging parents to consider volunteering.
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