SEIU Local 99 outlines its contract demands from LA Unified
LA School Report | May 8, 2014
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SEIU Local 99, the union of cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, special education assistants who work for LA Unified announced today it is seeking a minimum of $15 an hour for all workers who currently earn less than that and a 15 percent raise for all workers who earn more.
The union thus became the first of the school district’s labor partners to make public its demands as the school board begins negotiations with all of its bargaining units.
The board meeting set for next Tuesday includes a number of items relating to union contract negotiations as the district moves closer to the July 1 start of the next fiscal year. SEIU is planning to present its proposals at the meeting.
“SEIU Local 99 members are incredibly dedicated to our students and the future of our schools,” Executive Director Courtni Pugh said in a press release from the union. “Every day, they make sure students get to class ready to learn. Yet, many of them struggle to support their own children. These proposals help ensure full staffing for essential student services and living wages that will allow dedicated school workers to support their families with dignity and opportunity.”
Bianca Gallegos, a spokeswoman for the union, said about 20,000 of the union’s 35,000 members earn between $8 an hour, California’s minimum wage, and $12 an hour. The remaining 15,000 members, she said, earn $15 an hour or more.
Using an average of $10 an hour for the first group, SEIU’s overall demand would cost the district an additional $280.2 million.
The union said it is also asking for the expansion of the OASIS program, which would keep school campuses open longer hours with after school programs offering health care, academic support, arts education, and financial planning and work force development for parents.
The union said in its press release that the proposals were developed over seven months through meetings at “hundreds of school sites” throughout the District.