What Does the LAUSD Strike Mean for Black Students?
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By Aziah Siid, Word in Black
Essential school staff like teacher’s assistants and cafeteria workers say they can’t survive on a $25,000 per year salary.
For tens of thousands of bus drivers, teacher’s aides, special education assistants, and numerous other low-paid essential school workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District, three words sum up how they feel: Enough is enough.
After several failed attempts to come to an agreement between the second-largest school district in the United States and Service Employees International Union Local 99 — which represents 30,000 support staff — people went on strike early Tuesday morning despite the cold rain drenching L.A.
The employees — many of whom are women and people of color — joined forces to demand increased wages and better staffing at schools — all of which they say will enable them to better serve students and boost academic achievement.
Many of these special education TAs and other school staffers earn as little as $25,000 per year — not nearly enough to live in one of the United States’ most expensive cities. In February, renting a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles averaged $2,370 a month — or $28,440 annually.
In comparison, the starting yearly salary for an LAUSD school police officer ranges from $63,092 to $98,129.
The union is asking the district for a 30% raise and hopes to eventually raise salaries to $36,000 per year — but district officials say this is impossible.
The original article has more details.
Black employees have long used strikes for better working conditions. Strikes have also been used to support BLM.
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