The Unions Strike Back

The unions. Whether you love the unions or hate them they organized a strike. The main organizer was SEIU Local 99, the union for workers such as janitors, aids, and yard assistants. The strike lasted for three days with union members picketing at schools. SEIU demanded the district give them a 30% pay raise, the right to file a grievance over disrespectful treatment, more staffing, and more full-time hours. UTLA, the union for teachers, decided to not cross the picket lines to show solidarity with SEIU. Since the majority of LAUSD workers were on strike the district decided to close the schools.


In order to gain a better understanding of the strike Rhys went to Bandini Elementary School for all three days of the strike. On Tuesday the strikers were greeted with pouring rain and mixed reactions from passersby. The administrators of the school went outside to the picket lines and gave them E-Z Ups to protect them from the rain. Unfortunately, our reporter on the ground had to leave the strike early as he was not wearing enough layers and was unable to continue for that day.


On Wednesday the teachers showed up in greater numbers and with greater passion than before. Some strikers brought horns and noise makers. The strikers were mad at LAUSD, and they wanted everyone to know it. One striker, in particular, had a very loud horn that she used against cars that did not honk. She only had to use it a few times as most cars chose to honk. Thursday was basically a repeat of Wednesday except the strikers left the school 30 minutes earlier than usual so they could get to the big rally in Downtown L.A.


The strike ended on Friday and students returned to school. While school was in session SEIU and LAUSD struck a deal that would significantly increase the pay for almost 30,000 employees. They also expanded healthcare benefits, addressed pay inequalities, and invested resources into professional development for employees. SEIU was happy that LAUSD met their demands. Students were also very happy about a 3-day break. We do not know when the unions will clash with the district again, but knowing the unions it will happen again someday.