Deal Or No Deal, LA Teachers Strike Will Continue Tuesday

Edwin Fang and his daughter show up in support of striking LAUSD teachers outside Castelar Elementary School in Chinatown on Jan. 18. (Photo by Josie Huang for LAist)

Los Angeles' teachers will continue to strike into at least Tuesday, regardless of whether a contract deal is reached on Monday. That's the word from leaders of the United Teachers Los Angeles.

Union leaders made the announcement as talks continued on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the fifth consecutive day of negotiations with L.A. Unified School District officials. It's not clear how much progress the two sides have made or whether an agreement is near.

The reason the strike is certain to continue, at least for one day?

Even if the two sides were to reach a deal on the last day of the long holiday weekend, UTLA officials said the union's full membership would still have to vote to approve it before returning to work. Such a vote could happen "quickly," union officials have said — but it would take place while teachers are still on the picket lines.

UTLA's 33,000-plus teachers, nurses, counselors and social workers were told Monday by union negotiators to return to their picket lines on Tuesday. If a deal is reached before then, "everyone will be able to be informed about the tentative agreement and vote on it, over a period of hours."

Another day of abnormal operations will add to LAUSD's financial losses from the strike. Greatly-diminished attendance during the first five days of the strike has already cost LAUSD at least $75 million in state funding, district officials estimate.