In August, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) declared an impasse in their negotiations. This means that negotiations are stuck and both sides agree to bring-in an outside mediator to help reach a resolution. UTLA, LAUSD, and the mediator began meeting on September 27 and had a second session on October 3, 2018. However, no resolution has been reached. UTLA is committed to the bargaining and mediation process and the goal is to avoid a strike. While we know the goal is not to strike, we know the power of standing strong. We know the power of making the courageous decision to strike to make our voices heard – for ourselves and the students we serve. That’s why we support teachers in their fight to ensure that all students have a high-quality education. On October 4, 2018, we joined with 800,000 other workers in Los Angeles County in voting to support a teacher’s strike if it becomes necessary.

If UTLA decides to call for a strike, Local 99 will begin conducting informational sessions and posting information about your rights, responsibilities, and protections during a teachers’ strike. We are currently reviewing all legal and contractual language to ensure that you have the most thorough information. We will continue to follow the progress of UTLA’s contract talks and inform you of the impact this may have on SEIU Local 99 members.

Be sure to check Local 99’s website for accurate information. You may have seen or heard some media reports saying that SEIU Local 99 and other unions at LAUSD reached wage agreements with the district that total 6% over three years. This is incorrect.

The fact is in our new contract, we won a 6% increase paid over TWO years. Additionally, members who received a different increase than $15/hour in our 2014-2017 contract, received an additional 2% increase paid over TWO years. The second-year increase is a wage supplement that becomes a permanent raise if the District has a positive budget projection in the spring. We are confident in the District’s funding because they have a healthy reserve.

We also won the right to negotiate for additional wage increases for the third year of our contract (2019-20). And we won a “me too” clause that means if another unit at LAUSD, including teachers, receives a higher wage increase without giving up other economics, SEIU Local 99 members also get the higher wage increase.

Another issue that needs to be clarified is how we got to these raises. In a letter written by Superintendent Beutner to UTLA President Alex Caputo Pearl, the Superintendent says the contract agreements reached with SEIU Local 99 and other unions at LAUSD “demonstrate the district’s commitment to our school leaders, teacher’s assistants, bus drivers, custodians, food service employees and librarians who, alongside teachers, work tirelessly every day to make each of our schools places of great teaching and learning.”

To be clear:  the district recognized their “commitment” to our work and contributions to learning only after we took action at our worksites and voted to authorize an unfair practice strike and set a deadline to strike.

That is why we stand in solidarity with teachers. We encourage SEIU Local 99 members to wear a “I’m Standing Strong with Teachers” sticker to show your support.

You can print copies of  the sticker using this template (designed for Avery 8395 Name Badges).  #UnionStrong