SEIU Local 99 to vote on strike authorization in two weeks

Cafeteria workers, special education assistants, bus drivers and other essential workers will vote to authorize a strike against Los Angeles Unified in two weeks on behalf of SEIU Local 99. The union is pushing for increased wages, sufficient staffing and resources for each school and expanded health care benefits as it continues to negotiate its new contract with the district after its last contract expired in 2020.

The voting period for members will last between Jan. 23 and Feb. 10 and will give the bargaining team the power to declare a strike if the union and the district do not reach an agreement through the impasse process.

“A strike is the last option, SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Max Arias said in a press release. “Workers are hopeful that a fair agreement can be reached through the mediation process. However, there are major issues in LAUSD’s compensation system that are leading to severe staffing shortages for essential student services.”

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho commented on its labor negotiations at a press conference Monday, saying that the negotiations were one of the district’s top priorities during the new year. 

“We have more to put on the table, but we need the table to be populated with people willing to negotiate,” Carvalho said. “We are willing and I know our colleagues in labor are willing.”—Kate Sequeira, EdSource, Jan 12, 2023