LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles teachers Sunday working for the second largest district in the nation will be preparing for their first strike in three decades.
With just hours left before a possible LAUSD teachers strike, the teachers union – the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) held a news conference at 4 p.m. Sunday.
UTLA confirmed its 30,000 members will go on strike Monday.
“We are going on strike tomorrow for students who we miss in our hearts right now. They deserve better,” said UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl. “We strike tomorrow for a reinvestment in our classrooms and because it matters.”
Picketing is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday, according to UTLA, which indicated that a rally and march will follow at 10:30 a.m. starting at Grand Park on Spring Street in front of City Hall.
On Saturday, UTLA held a roundtable after rejecting the district’s final offer from Friday.
The LAUSD says its offer would include a six percent raise and add 1200 new teachers to the upcoming school year. The superintendent said the new offer would reduce high school and middle school class sizes by two.
But the union’s secretary told the Hutchinson Report’s Earl Hutchinson it’s not enough.
“This is not just about salary,” said Arlene Inouye, UTLA’s secretary. “And the district wants to make it about salary but this is about our students. It’s about their learning conditions and for the educators’ working conditions.”
“We have the highest class sizes in the nation,” she added.
District representatives were not at Saturday’s roundtable but former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told CBS Los Angeles that he thinks the strike is a lose-lose situation.
“I just think it’s wrong. Both parties need to come together, go to Sacramento, that’s where the money is,” he said. “It’s not at LA Unified. They made a generous offer, some believe beyond what they can afford and the parties need to come together.”
Meanwhile, LAUSD officials expressed their disappointment with the UTLA’s strike plans and reminded parents that schools will remain open next week.
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