A tentative deal was reached Friday to end a labor dispute involving the Los Angeles Unified School District and tens of thousands of union workers who staged a three-day strike this week, the district announced.
The deal includes a series of retroactive raises going back to 2021 as well as pay bumps this coming July and January that will collectively hike worker pay by about 30%, said Max Arias, executive director of SEIU Local 99.
The deal also sets the district’s minimum wage at $22.52; provides a one-time $1,000 raise for any worker who was employed in 2020 in appreciation of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic; and creates a $3 million educational and professional development fund for union members, district Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said at a news conference.
The tentative agreement will be moved to union members to vote on its approval.
“This week, the eyes of our entire nation were on the cooks, custodians and classroom aides who make education possible in Los Angeles, a workforce overwhelmingly made up of women and people of color,” Arias said. “We emerged stronger than ever from this week’s strike and showed the entire nation that unions are the most powerful force for economic opportunity and equity.”
The full press conference held on Friday can be seen below:
Local 99 represents around 30,000 teachers’ aides, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other support staff.
Union members asked for a 30% wage increase and better working conditions. LAUSD initially offered a 23% wage increase over the next five years.
The deal “elevates the dignity, the humanity of our workforce, respects the needs of our students, but also guarantees the fiscal viability of our district for years to come,” Carvalho said.
He announced the deal alongside Arias and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. Both sides credited Bass, who took office in December, with helping reach the agreement.
Despite the strike that forced around 400,000 students out of classes for three days, many parents stood in support of union employees in the nation’s second-largest school district.
“It’s obvious all over the schools that we’re really not putting the support where it’s needed and our children are suffering because of that,” said one LAUSD parent.
While the walkout was led by SEIU, United Teachers of Los Angeles, the union representing 34,000 LAUSD educators, also walked off the job in solidarity. As a result, more than a thousand schools closed impacting hundreds of thousands of students and their parents.
“I want to thank SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Max Arias and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho for working with me to put our families first,” Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. “We must continue working together to address our city’s high cost of living, to grow opportunity and to support more funding for LA’s public schools, which are the most powerful determinant of our city’s future.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.