L.A. Teachers Union and LAUSD Reach Deal to End Strike

Los ANgeles Teachers strike ends after Union leaders and LAUSD announce deal

A tentative agreement between union leaders and administrators with the Los Angeles Unified School District was announced Tuesday. That means teachers could be back in classrooms across Southern California as soon as tomorrow, bringing the week-long strike to an end.

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beurner and United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl were joined by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at City Hall to announce the deal  on Tuesday, which came after a "marathon negotiating session" that wrapped up just before sunrise. 

"The strike that nobody wanted is now behind us," Beutner said. 

UTLA teachers went on strike Jan. 14 to call for higher pay, smaller class sizes and the hiring of additional support staff, such as nurses, counselors and librarians. It was the first work-stoppage by LAUSD teachers in 30-years. 

Garcetti said the new agreement will give teachers a salary increase of 6-percent, including a 3 percent boost retroactive for the 2017-18 school year, and another 3 percent retroactive to July 1, 2018.

A detailed description of the agreement between LAUSD and UTLA includes provisions for hiring of 150 full-time nurses, 41 teacher-librarians positions, and 17 additional full-time counselors. 

The proposal also eliminated contract language that the union said would have allowed the district to “ignore all class-size averages and caps.” 

The proposed agreement also calls for a class-size reduction of one student, with a secondary cap of 39 for English and math classes during the 2019-20 school year, followed by an additional one-student reduction in 2020-21 and another two-student reduction in 2021-22.

LAUSD and UTLA also agreed to form a committee that will identify all district assessments and develop a plan that would reduce the amount of standardized testing by 50 percent. 

The full text of the agreement between the district and teachers' union can be found here.

A statement issued by the Union Monday morning said the two sides were "making progress" but added that any deal will have to be voted on by the union before teachers can return to work. 

"If a tentative agreement is reached, it cannot be immediately enacted until a vote of the entire membership takes place,” a statement from the union said on Monday.

Voting on the tentative agreement will “happen in a streamlined voting process at school sites and within a span of a few hours, but it must take place before UTLA members will go back to work." 

“During that time, we will also be communicating with parents and community members about the TA (tentative agreement). We have no official agreement in place until our members vote on the TA."

LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the nation, with more than 694,000 students at 1,322 schools across 710 square miles. More than 200 of those are independent charter schools, most of which are staffed with non-union teachers who remained unaffected by the strike. 

Around 500,000 students have been affected by the strike that's cost the school district more than $100 million since it began last week. 

Photo: Getty Images

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