Los Angeles public school district, service workers reach bargaining agreement

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Los Angeles public school district, service workers reach bargaining agreement
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) workers and supporters rally in Los Angeles State Historic Park on the last day of a strike over a new contract, March 23, 2023, in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles public school district reached a "historic" agreement with its Service Employees International Union Local 99 on Friday, the district announced.

The tentative agreement comes after the union's members -- which include bus drivers, cafeteria workers and special education assistants -- went on strike for three days this week. The teachers union also honored the service union's picket lines, forcing the Los Angeles Unified School District to cancel classes for 420,000 students for Tuesday through Thursday.

The terms of the new contract include a 6% ongoing wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2021, a 7% ongoing wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2022, and a 7% ongoing wage increase effective July 1, 2023, the school district said.

The terms also include a $2 per hour increase for all employees effective Jan. 1, 2024, and brings the district's minimum wage to $22.52 an hour, "outpacing the City of Los Angeles and the State of California," Los Angeles Unified said.

"I am appreciative of SEIU Local 99's leadership for coming back to the table to negotiate an agreement that addresses the needs of our employees and brings students back to the classroom," Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement.

Carvalho thanked Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass for "her support and leadership in facilitating negotiations."

"This is about the high cost of living in Los Angeles," Bass said at a press event Friday. "Los Angeles, as everybody knows, has become virtually unaffordable."

The agreement is subject to ratification by bargaining unit members and the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education, the school district said.

SEIU Local 99 has close to 30,000 members, many of which earn "poverty wages," the union said.

The contract spans through June 30, 2024.

"This cannot be the end of the road because not all, not everything has been addressed," Max Arias, executive director of SEIU Local 99, said during the press event.

Though increasing the minimum wage to $22.52 an hour from $17 is "significant," he noted.

"LAUSD is going to be able to hire people," he said.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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