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School Support Staff Union Approves New Contract With LAUSD

A group of people holding picket signs stands outside on an overcast day. The medium-light skin toned woman in the center of the frame wearing a red jacket raises her right hand and in her left, holds a sign that says "We keep school safe. Respect Us. Education Workers United."
United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and Service Employees International Union Local 99 rallied on March 15, 2023, the week before a planned strike.
(Ashley Balderrama
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Unionized bus drivers, classroom assistants, custodians and other support staff have voted to ratify an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District that will raise wages by about 30%.

The backstory

Members of Service Employees International Union Local 99 walked off the job in March and shut down the district for three days to protest alleged unfair labor practices during months of bargaining over wages and working conditions.

District and union leaders announced a tentative deal the day after the strike ended. Last week about 13,000 members, more than half of those eligible to vote, cast ballots in support of the agreement, SEIU Local 99 spokesperson Blanca Gallegos said in an email.

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Highlights of the deal

  • A series of raises that amounts to about a 30% increase and a $1,000 bonus for employees who worked during the school year that started in August 2020. 
  • A new minimum wage of $22.53 an hour, up from $16.91 an hour. 
  • More hours for classroom assistants who work with special education students
  • Health care insurance for part-time employees who work at least four hours a day, starting in 2024. 

We are gonna continue fighting for more hours and more staffing,” said Conrado Guerrero, SEIU Local 99 President and a district building engineer. “But this is a significant step forward.”

What's next

The L.A. Unified school board must vote to approve the contract. Their next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 18 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It will be live streamed in English and Spanish.

How to find and contact your school board representative

Find Your LAUSD Board Member

Go deeper: LAUSD Reaches Deal With Support Staff On Salary Increases, Other Benefits, After Three-Day Strike Ends

Updated April 10, 2023 at 4:20 PM PDT
This story updated with a quote from Guerrero.
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