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If Staff And Teachers Unions Hold Joint Strike, LA Unified Schools Will Close, Superintendent Says

A man in a suit stands in front of a set of blue double doors, outside a school. He has his back turned to the camera.
LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho toured George Washington Preparatory High School in Westmont on Feb. 17, 2022.
(Alborz Kamalizad
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Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed that the district expects a union representing school district staff to hold a three-day strike in the next few weeks.

Who is striking and why? Service Employees International Union Local 99 represents 30,000 school staff workers — custodians, cafeteria workers, special education assistants, etc. Their last contract expired in 2020, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and talks over a new deal have stalled.

What activity is the union planning? They'll hold an afternoon rally on March 15 in downtown L.A., with plans for a three-day strike coming soon. The teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, has signaled ongoing support for SEIU Local 99. The union has said it will announce the days of its three-day strike at the rally.

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What does that mean for schools? In a voicemail to parents, Carvalho said that if both unions follow through with the strike, schools would have to close, without even virtual education, until it concludes. "We will give you as much advance notice as possible, but we encourage you to begin discussions with your employer, child care providers and others now," he said.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez contributed reporting to this story.

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