For Immediate Release August 17, 2020; Contact: Blanca Gallegos – [email protected]
Los Angeles, CA – School Custodians, Bus Drivers, Teacher Assistants and other dedicated education workers providing services to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have reached an agreement with the school district to ensure safety, equity and increased support for students in most need during distance learning. The agreement between SEIU Local 99 representing nearly 30,000 education workers and LAUSD is effective for the duration of remote classes.
“We recognize the challenges of distance learning, particularly for Black and Brown students and families in poverty. Our negotiations were guided by a set of principles that focused on equity, safety and access to make sure all students have the full support they need to learn and families can continue to have some stability in these uncertain times,” said Max Arias, SEIU Local 99 Executive Director.
Highlights of the agreement include:
Increased support for student learning, including special education
The agreement addresses issues of learning loss by expanding the role of teacher assistants, special education assistants and other instructional aides to ensure students receive additional support as they continue to learn from home. Expanded roles will include contacting parents of students who have not checked-in electronically. Guidelines for Speech Language Pathology Assistants are also specified to help resume therapy for many students who did not receive needed one-on-one support during the shutdown of schools in the spring.
Expanded role for bus drivers, after school workers and others to assist students and families
The agreement includes innovative approaches to address concerns over student participation in online classes by including bus drivers, playground supervisors and other workers who are not typically in the classroom as support staff to assist with virtual classroom supervision. Additionally, after school workers and playground supervision aides will be assisting students in the district’s school supervision centers set-up for LAUSD employees who need child care services. Bus Drivers will also take-on an essential role in ensuring the safety of workers and the school community by supporting the logistics of the district’s contact tracing program.
Hero pay and child care services
Even as distance learning continues, many school workers will be providing services at schools, including custodians who will maintain and disinfect schools and food service workers who will continue to prepare and distribute grab-and-go meals. The agreement includes hero pay of an additional $3.50 per hour that recognizes the essential service of workers required to report to schools and worksites. Additionally, many school workers are also parents of LAUSD students and they will be provided with free child care services at designated schools.
No layoffs, furlough days or cuts to work hours
Recognizing that distance learning requires an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to support students, the agreement ensures that there will be no layoffs or other cuts to education workers.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 is a union of nearly 50,000 education workers in K-12 schools, early education and care, administrative offices, and community colleges throughout Southern California, including nearly 30,000 teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers and others providing essential student services at the Los Angeles Unified School District. Nearly 50% of SEIU Local 99 members are also parents or guardians of school-aged children.