Our SEIU Local 99 bargaining team has begun negotiations with LAUSD to discuss plans for the new school year.
Our initial discussions focused on ensuring the health, safety and well being of everyone who will be required to report to work at a school or other physical worksite.
We discussed the urgent need for the district to provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for everyone working at a physical site. It is our position that if the proper PPE is not made available, employees must be excused from work with pay.
Additionally, we began discussions about hero pay, or additional pay, for those who must work onsite.It is not enough for the district to call us essential workers. There must be fair compensation.
We have also urged the district to present us with a proposal on safety protocols in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19 at a worksite. We want the district to ensure that any SEIU Local 99 member who comes in contact with someone with confirmed exposure to the virus can quarantine for 14 days with pay – without using their sick days, vacation or other personal leave time.
In addition to these safety issues, we have also begun addressing the role of paraprofessionals and bus drivers during distance learning and, in upcoming meetings, will address other classifications. We recognize that in these unprecedented times it will be necessary to re-imagine the role of classified employees while maintaining professional protocols. Ultimately, we’re making it clear to the district that students need more support, not less, and classified employees will play a critical role in addressing issues of learning loss and equity for students.
On August 3rd, LAUSD presented us with some of their proposals. Members on the bargaining team are currently reviewing these proposals and we will head back to negotiations with the district on Thursday, August 6. Stay tuned for more.
Let’s continue to stay strong and united.