LOS ANGELES – Tens of thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District workers planned to go on strike Tuesday over an impasse in contract negotiations. In a show of solidarity, teachers will join a three-day strike that will shut down the country’s second-largest school system.
Members of Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union – which represents some 30,000 educational aides, special education assistants, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers and other support staff – plan to hold walkouts at schools throughout the city.
Workers are expected to go on strike before dawn, demanding better wages and more staff. The district has more than 500,000 students from Los Angeles and any or all of the county’s 25 other cities or unincorporated areas.
Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho accused the union of refusing to negotiate and said he was ready to meet at any time of the day or night. He said on Monday that a “golden opportunity” to make progress had been missed.
“I think this strike could have been avoided. But that can’t be helped if individuals don’t talk to each other,” he said.
Local 99 said Monday night that it is in talks with state labor regulators about allegations that the district engaged in misconduct that interfered with workers’ rights to participate in work-related activities. union.
“We want to make it clear that we are not in negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District,” the union said in a statement. “We are still at an impasse in the process with the state.”
Such negotiations will not prevent a strike, the statement added.
“We are ready to strike,” the union said.
During the strike, some 150 of the district’s more than 1,000 schools are expected to remain open with adult supervision, but no classes, so students have somewhere to go.
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