May 17, 2014
—For Immediate Release—
Blanca Gallegos; 213-500-9594
Terry Carter; 213-700-5617
Hundreds of LAUSD School Workers Rally!
They fight for improved services for students & families and $15 minimum wage to end poverty in schools.
Los Angeles—Hundreds of Cafeteria Workers, Custodians, Bus Drivers, Special Education Assistants and other members of SEIU Local 99 rally today—joined by parents, students and community leaders—in support of their contract bargaining priorities for upcoming negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The proposals call on the District to ensure Quality Schools and Better Lives by lifting families out of poverty and improving services and supports for students.
Nearly 20,000 SEIU Local 99 members working at LAUSD earn less than $15 an hour. At the same time, nearly half of them are parents or guardians of children in our schools. We know that when their families lack economic stability, their children only have a 10% chance of completing a four-year college degree by age 24. By providing better jobs in our communities, LAUSD—the second largest school district in the nation—also gives thousands of its students much more hope for their academic future.
The proposals were drafted over seven months in a process that included meetings at hundreds of school sites throughout the District. From October 2013 through April 2014, thousands of SEIU Local 99 members brainstormed together on their contract priorities and how to restore student services aft¬er years of devastating cuts.
Highlights of the proposals include:
- $15/hour minimum wage and 15% increase for workers earning more than $15 to lift families out of poverty
- Increased work hours to ensure full support for student success
- Expansion of OASIS program to create more good jobs and provide better services for students and families
“SEIU Local 99 members are unsung heroes in our schools, bringing incredible dedication to our students and communities,” said SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh. “Every day, they make sure students get to class ready to learn. Yet, many of them struggle to support their own children. These proposals help ensure full staffing for essential student services and living wages that will allow dedicated school workers to support their families with dignity and opportunity.”
SEIU Local 99 members are also asking for the expansion of the OASIS program. OASIS (Optimizing Access to Services, Inspiring Success) was spearheaded by the union and will bring available city, county, and private services directly into our local schools to help address many of the social and economic challenges that impact students and struggling working families. The program will keep school campuses open longer hours with coordinated after school programs offering health care, academic support, arts education, and financial planning and work force development for parents.
“Many of us live in the communities where we work. We are deeply committed to the children whose lives we touch every day,” said Edna Logan, a Custodian at Esteban Torres High School and a member of the SEIU Local 99 Bargaining Team. “Los Angeles children deserve nothing less than the best schools and services. Our contract proposals will help us rebuild our schools and restore essential student services.”
“Governor Brown has made it a priority to make sure there’s no such thing as a ‘poor’ school. These proposals, including the OASIS program, all reinforce the Governor’s goals,” added Pugh.
SEIU Local 99 represents 45,000 education workers throughout Southern California, including more than 35,000 cafeteria workers, custodians, special education assistants, bus drivers and other workers who provide essential student services and supports in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Nearly half of SEIU Local 99 members are parents or guardians of school-aged children.