Maria Macedo is a parent and member of SEIU Local 99 at The Accelerated School (TAS), a charter school in South Los Angeles. For 15 years, Maria has been a dedicated education worker caring for students as a custodian at TAS. But, poverty wages at TAS make it difficult to make ends meet. TAS members have been in contract negotiations with TAS for nearly one year with no progress. As a leader on her bargaining committee, Maria is sharing her story to ensure TAS offers quality schools and better lives for the community. "The most gratifying part of my job is being able to help the students and the teachers. But, it is difficult to continue with so much work and such little pay," said Maria.
From July 27th to 31st, two of our newly-elected Executive Board Members—Agnes Braga, a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant at LAUSD and Toi Jackson, a Special Education Assistant at LAUSD—volunteered to join a boots-on-the-ground fight in the deep-red state of Missouri to beat back Proposition A. The ballot measure—had it passed—would have made Missouri a right-to-work state. But it didn’t pass. In fact, it was crushed on Tuesday (67.3 percent of voters in opposition versus 32.7 in support) due in large part to the state-wide effort Toi and Agnes were part of to educate voters on right-to-work and its negative impact on worker rights, jobs and the economy. Read our interview with them about their experience out.
Maria Cerda is an LA Unified parent and SEIU Local 99 members who advocates not only for her children’s schools, but also for the school where she works. "Many parents like me who work for the district have a salary that is not enough to cover basic expenses such as rent, food, transportation. Because my kids don’t qualify for the school bus, I have to drive them to school every day, and I barely can afford gas." Cerda celebrated outside LA Unified headquarters in June when the school board approved a salary increase with their new contract, just weeks after cafeteria workers, school bus drivers, and other classified employees were poised to strike.
When Jan Williams first started driving school buses back in 1998, she worked for a non-unionized contractor earning a dismal $7 an hour. That all changed when she moved on to work as a driver for Los Angeles Unified School District. There, she earned more than twice that. The difference? She had a union behind her job at LAUSD. This is her story.
Please find the La Opinión article here. Translation into English below… Special Education Assistant sells tamales to survive in summer School employees without pay for the summer want to receive unemployment benefits. Esmeralda Torres works as a teacher's assistant in the area of special education. By: Yurina Melara Apr 28, 2015 In the summer, Esmeralda Torres [...]
By Monique Williams On April 15, 2015 over 500 workers and supporters rallied together in Los Angeles to fight for justice for an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. The emotion behind each individual was mutual. Workers within SEIU Local 99 have been voicing their support for an increase in the minimum [...]