LOS ANGELES — A last-minute bid to avert a three-day strike that could shut down the nation’s second-largest school district appeared to fall flat Monday, with union officials saying district leaders broke the confidentiality of a planned 11th-hour negotiating session.
“This afternoon, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 99 had agreed to enter a confidential mediation process with LAUSD to try and address our differences,” union Executive Director Max Arias said in a statement late Monday afternoon. “Unfortunately, LAUSD broke that confidentiality by sharing it with the media before our bargaining team, which makes all decisions, had a chance to discuss how to proceed. This is yet another example of the school district’s continued disrespect of school workers. We are ready to strike.
“We want to be clear that we are not in negotiations with LAUSD. We continue to be engaged in the impasse process with the state.”
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has continued issuing pleas for the union to commit to 11th-hour negotiations in hopes of avoiding the walkout.
“Let’s continue to negotiate for as long as it takes for our students,” he said in a statement Monday afternoon. “We must avoid lost instructional and social and emotional development time.”
The union, however, continued to dig in Monday, vowing to stick to its plans for a three-day walkout of roughly 30,000 service workers, including cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, special education assistants and other workers. The district’s powerful teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles, has vowed to honor the picket lines, adding another 30,000 employees to the work stoppage.
District officials said that magnitude of a strike will force the shutdown of campuses, leaving more than 400,000 students without classes.
“Despite LAUSD’s misleading statements in the media and threats against workers who are exercising their right to take action, our movement is only growing stronger,” Arias said earlier Monday. “Teachers, students and parents in the district are standing with school workers and their right to take action — free from fear — to bargain for better wages and increased staffing in our schools.”
Plans for the last-ditch negotiating session Monday were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, with LAUSD Board of Education President Jackie Goldberg telling the paper there were plans for 11th-hour discussions with the union. She told the paper she was “cautiously optimistic” about avoiding the strike, but said the timing of the labor talks remained unclear, pending the arrival of a mediator.
Shortly after The Times published its story, the union issued its statement saying it was not involved with any negotiations, instead continuing with the “impasse process with the state.”
The union plans to begin picketing at 4:30 a.m. today at the Van Nuys Bus Yard, 16200 Roscoe Blvd. Union leaders have already scheduled a news conference for 7 a.m. Wednesday at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, 701 S. Catalina St., followed by a 1 p.m. rally at LAUSD headquarters, 333 S. Beaudry Ave.
The LAUSD on Friday filed a legal challenge with the state Public Employment Relations Board seeking an injunction that would halt the strike, claiming the union’s proposed strike was illegal. Over the weekend, however, the PERB denied the district’s request for injunctive relief because it did not find “the extraordinary remedy of seeking injunctive relief to be met at this juncture,” according to the LAUSD.
Let them Strike....and then give them a 2% Pay-Cut when they return. You do "NOT" reward Failure with a Pay Raise...LAUSD is just another Gang of Thugs, and Activist Scum....and When J Powell raises interest rates again (here shortly) the Broke Teachers will take a 4% pay-cut....rightfully so.
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