School Workers at Los Angeles Unified School District Approve New Contract


Blanca Gallegos, Communications Director
213.387.8393 x219 |

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaching Assistants, Custodians, Cafeteria Workers, Bus Drivers and other classified employees at Los Angeles Unified School District ratified a new contract agreement with LAUSD. With state budget cuts as the backdrop for negotiations, workers reached a settlement that includes no wage increases, but provides improved working conditions and changes that will benefit students’ learning environment.

Highlights of the new agreement between the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 99) and LAUSD include:

For workers in Maintenance & Operations positions, a five day notice is now required prior to a substantive change to their work schedule. This is particularly significant because the majority of recent layoffs to classified employees occurred in this department (more than 500 building and grounds workers were laid off as a result of budget cuts). As work schedules are adjusted for the remaining employees, advance notification is essential to ensure students see no interruption in services.

Improved language for paycheck error corrections. Instead of a 30-day period to correct any underpayments, the District must now process requests and make supplemental pay warrants available for pick-up within three days. Pay warrants for non-payment or severe underpayment may be made available within one work day.

More protections for Union Stewards who are performing their duties, including half-hour release time for Stewards to investigate worksite grievances.

$100 increase to tuition reimbursement (from $500 to $600 within a 12-month period) for employees enrolled in courses that support or advance their qualifications and improve classroom instruction.

“In this difficult economy, we believe this is a fair contract. We worked hard to ensure that essential benefits and protections were preserved,” said Edward Reed, President of SEIU Local 99 and a member of the bargaining team that negotiated the agreement. “The stability that a union contract provides to workers is reflected in continued quality services to students.”

The three-year agreement includes two re-openers and covers nearly 35,000 LAUSD school workers. SEIU Local 99 members approved the agreement after a week-long of voting. The LAUSD School Board must next approve and adopt the contract.

SEIU Local 99 is a union of more than 43,000 dedicated education workers who guide our children from preschool and kindergarten, through grade school, high school, and at community colleges. We are teachers, paraeducators, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, first responders, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California. We are part of SEIU International, the fastest-growing union in North America with 2.1 million members.

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