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LAUSD Ratifies Contract With Teachers, Bringing Higher Wages And Smaller Classes

A group of women dressed warmly and seen from above walk along the street as part of a larger group. Several wear rain slickers, and two of them are speaking into megaphones.
Thousands gather outside the LAUSD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles in support of the SEIU99 and UTLA strike on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
(Ashley Balderrama
for LAist)
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LAUSD Ratifies Contract With Teachers, Bringing Higher Wages And Smaller Classes

The Los Angeles Unified school board voted Tuesday to approve the second major labor contract in as many months.

The deal raises teacher pay 21% over the next two year, adds mental health workers to school campuses and promises to reduce class sizes

Reaction from the board and union

“We're investing in our teachers and our nurses,” said board member Rocío Rivas. “It's ambitious, it’s, at least, getting towards the compensation and the honor that our teachers deserve.”

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Both the teachers union and the union representing school support staff had been negotiating with the district for almost a year. The district’s 35,000 teachers joined 30,000 bus drivers, classroom assistants, and other support staff in a March strike that shut down schools for three days.

“This agreement demonstrates that when we stand together, we can transform our schools for the better,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement. “It acknowledges the impact of the pandemic, years of disinvestment, and economic hardship, while standing firm on things school faculty need to provide quality education to our students.”

Just over 94% of the 27,171 ballots cast by UTLA members last week were in favor of the new contract.

What’s in the deal

The United Teachers Los Angeles contract is retroactive to 2022 and will last until 2025. It includes:

  • A 21% raise spread out over three years. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in April that would bring the average teacher salary to $106,000 by July 2025. 
  • A two-student class-size reduction. 
  • Salary increases for nurses, mental health workers including psychologists, and additional raises for special education teachers. 

What's next

Noriko Nakada, who teaches English at Emerson Middle School English teacher and is UTLA chapter chair, said she’s hopeful the contract will retain existing educators and bring new ones to the district.

Last year, L.A. Unified reassigned hundreds of employees to fill mid-year teacher vacancies. Nakada said educators at her school often fill in when their colleagues are out on short- and long-term leaves.

“It just leaves everyone running on fumes,” Nakada said. “Perpetually running on fumes.”

The contract also establishes steering committees with union members to guide the implementation of two district programs meant to provide students with more academic and social-emotional support as well as wraparound services.

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“By codifying Community Schools and the Black Student Achievement Plan, we actually are saying that we are making good on the promises of racial and social justice for every kid in every school in this district,” Myart-Cruz said.

What questions do you have about early childhood education and development? What do you want to know about kids ages 0-5 and those who care for them in Southern California?
Decades of research indicates early childhood education significantly boosts children’s readiness to learn. Mariana Dale wants families, caregivers and educators to have the information they need to help children 0-5 grow and thrive by identifying what’s working and what’s not in California’s early childhood system.

Updated May 9, 2023 at 7:08 PM PDT
This story was updated to report the official LAUSD board ratification.
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