May 27, 2024  |  
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Asher Notheis, Breaking News Reporter

NextImg:Los Angeles school district reaches deal with education union, ending three-day strike

The Los Angeles United School Board has tentatively reached a deal with a union to increase the salary of almost 30,000 workers.

The deal between the school board and the Service Employees International Union Local 99, which is representing bus drivers and other school staff, will create an expansion of healthcare benefits for part-time employees, invest considerable resources into professional development for the workforce, and increase pay for the employees, according to a statement released by the school board on Friday.


“I am appreciative of SEIU Local 99’s leadership for coming back to the table to negotiate an agreement that addresses the needs of our employees and brings students back to the classroom," Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “We also thank Mayor Bass for her support and leadership in facilitating negotiations. When we started negotiating with SEIU, we promised to deliver on three goals. We wanted to honor and elevate the dignity of our workforce and correct well-known, decadeslong inequities impacting the lowest-wage earners. We wanted to continue supporting critical services for our students. We wanted to protect the financial viability of the District for the long haul. Promises made, promises delivered.”

SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Max Arias, left, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and District superintendent Alberto Carvalho lock in arms after announcing on a new contract together in Los Angeles City Hall Friday, March 24, 2023. The Los Angeles Unified School District and union leaders say they have reached a deal on a new contract for workers after a strike that shut down the nation's second-largest school system for three days. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The agreement brings the Los Angeles Unified minimum wage to $22.52 an hour, outpacing both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California. Additionally, current employees who worked at the district in the 2020-21 school year will get a $1,000 bonus in recognition of in-person work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other benefits provided by this agreement include healthcare benefits for employees who work at least four hours a day and salary increases of 6% ongoing wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2021, 7% ongoing wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2022, 7% ongoing wage increase effective July 1, 2023, and $2 per hour increase for all employees effective Jan. 1, 2024.

The agreement has been praised by the union in a series of statements made on social media.

"Our fight brought our city and country together," read a statement by the union on social media. "Mayor Karen Bass was instrumental to getting the District to finally start hearing our demands."


The agreement comes after three days of protests from the union from March 21 through March 23. Footage of the protesters performing choreographed dances in the street while holding umbrellas went viral on social media.

On Wednesday afternoon, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stepped in and helped the union and the school district reach a decision. Bass said she was not looking to make the strike about herself and did not want to disrupt the process.