STRIKE OR NO STRIKE: Tell Us What You Think, Members

SEIU 99 Brothers and Sisters,

After nearly a year of contract bargaining with LAUSD, and after today’s negotiations, it is clear that LAUSD is not listening. In fact, there are many instances in which the District is bargaining in bad faith. We need to raise our voices like never before and seriously consider the possibility of an unfair labor practice strike in order to move the District.

We do not say this lightly. We understand it is a decision that members will need to carefully consider. We want to be clear that the bargaining team will not call for a strike without a vote of union members. In the coming days and weeks, we will be reaching out to you to have conversations about the possibility of a strike. And after we hear from you, we may call for a strike authorization vote.

Fill out a strike assessment form to let us know what you think about striking:

Fill out a Strike Assessment

We understand that a strike means sacrifice. What we also know is that after months of negotiations, the District is not moving on offering fair wages. They are still stuck on a 2% raise and 1% bonus – this means sacrifice for our families. The District is also not making enough movement to address staffing issues that are impacting the cleanliness of our schools and services to special needs students – and this means sacrifice for our students.

Not only is the District not significantly moving on these issues, we have documented multiple violations of their bad faith bargaining. We have filed charges with the California Public Employment Relations Board on their unfair bargaining over cuts to Special Education Assistants and Trainees. We have also filed additional Unfair Labor Practice charges over their retaliation of bargaining team members and union organizing staff.

The next step is up to all of us. As we decide on a strike, we will continue to bargain in good faith with LAUSD. Our goal is to reach a fair contract. But at this point, the District has shown that it is unwilling to negotiate in good faith.

One last thing: If we do vote on a strike, only union members can vote. Be sure you are a full member of our union. Sign up here.

It’s time to take a stand as union members. Tell us what you think below.

United, we win,

SEIU Local 99 Bargaining Team
Conrado Guerrero, SEIU Local 99 President
Tanya Walters, Heavy Bus Driver, SEIU Local 99 Vice President
Max Arias, Chief Negotiator
Antonio Ahumada, Truck Driver
Ana Cabada, SEIU 99 Field Director
Gilbert Feliciano, Special Education Assistant
Robinson Landeta, Storekeeper
Edna Logan, Building & Grounds Worker
Haydee Malacas, Community Representative
Miguel Morales, Stock Worker
Serita Richardson, Community Representative
Pam Stevenson, SEIU 99 Internal Organizing Manager
Thresa Thomas, Senior Cafeteria Worker
Elizabeth Thomas-Parker, Special Education Assistant
Angel Valera, Heavy Truck Driver
Bart Weil, Special Education Assistant

Questions and Answers About a Strike

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about your right to strike. If you have more questions, please contact your Steward or Union Organizer or fill out an Inquiry Form at http://www.seiu99.org/help.

Why are we considering going on strike?
To protest LAUSD bargaining with us in bad faith. While we were negotiating over staffing, they suddenly began to cut the work hours of Special Education Assistants and Trainees. Members of our Bargaining Team have been retaliated against at work and union organizers have been subjected to harassment at school sites. All of this is against the law. We have filed Unfair Practice Charges with the State of California Public Employment Relations Board. We need to send a strong message to LAUSD that it needs to stop its unfair practice campaign against workers and negotiate in good faith with us.

Who will make the decision to take us on strike?
The decision to go on strike will be made by the members of Local 99. There are three steps to the process:

  1. We will ask members about their willingness to strike. Members will fill out a form to show where they stand on a strike. The form is not a vote. It is simply a way for our Bargaining Team to assess what a majority of members think about striking.
  2. If our Bargaining Team feels it is necessary, they will call for an official strike authorization vote. If members vote to support a strike, this vote will give the elected members of our Bargaining Team permission to call for a strike if the District continues to bargain in bad faith.
  3. Our Bargaining Team will call for a strike and members and the District will be officially notified.

I thought we had a “no strike” clause in our contract and we can’t strike.
Our contract does include language that prohibits a strike while the contract is in effect. However, our current contract expired on June 30, 2017. We agreed with the District to extend it while we continue negotiations. However, either party can suspend any part of the contract during this time, including the “no strike clause.” Once this happens, we can legally strike.

If we can suspend the “no strike” clause, doesn’t that mean the District can also suspend the “no lockout” clause?
It is against the law for the District to lock us out in retaliation for going on an Unfair Practice strike. However, we must be prepared for the possibility that they may attempt to do so. If we go on strike and you are locked-out of work, document what happened and report it to your Steward immediately or complete an Inquiry Form at http://www.seiu99.org/help so we may take the appropriate legal action.

I’m scared about going out on strike. Can I get in trouble, be replaced or even fired?
An Unfair Practice strike is legally protected activity. It is against labor law for employers to fire, permanently replace, retaliate against or discipline employees who participate in an Unfair Practice strike. In the event of a strike, it will be critical that workers document any retaliation and report it to our union immediately.

Do I have to strike?
If a majority of members vote to support a strike, it is critical that we show our power through unity. The District’s response will depend on the strength of our participation. The expectation is that all members will honor the picket line, not go to work and join the picket line at least on all days that they would have been scheduled to work.

Will the union be providing financial assistance?
We recognize that a strike means a personal sacrifice because you will not be paid your regular wages during the strike period. While the union does not have a strike fund, some limited assistance would be available through our food pantry and community resources, including the Los Angeles Labor Federation’s Community Services program. Keep in mind that the District is required to pay you for any hours worked before or after the strike when you normally receive your paycheck.

How long would we be on strike?
Right now, no timeline has been set. Our Bargaining Team would determine the duration of the strike. However, the goal of the strike is to show our unity and make sure the District negotiates with us in good faith and we need to be committed to stand strong for as long as it takes.

Can my manager ask me if I’m planning to strike?
If managers ask you about a strike, you should simply say, “Our Union has advised members that we have the legal right to keep our strike plans private.” Managers do not have the right to ask you about a strike in a hostile or coercive manner.

Can I call in sick?
No. You will have no legal protection if you call in sick and participate in a strike.

Can I use vacation time to strike?
No, vacation time cannot be used for the strike. Striking is a legally protected activity.

Will I be covered by my health insurance during the strike?
The District cannot stop coverage for an otherwise eligible employee simply because they went out on strike.

What if I am already approved for leave during the strike period?
If your time off is already approved for vacation, medical or other leave, it still stands. If you are told otherwise, immediately contact your Steward or complete an Inquiry Form at http://www.seiu99.org/help.

Can workers in Unit G strike?
All striking workers have protections under the law. The reality is the more visible workers are about their union activity, the more effective we can be in enforcing their legal protections.

What about the health benefits agreement we just reached with the District?
The health benefits agreement was negotiated separately from our contract. The agreement still stands and members will need to ratify it. More information about the ratification of the health benefits agreement will be available soon.

What will happen to students if we strike?
It’s important to remember that part of the reason we are considering a strike is to force the District to address and resolve issues that are impactng students, including low staffing and cuts to vital student services. In the event of a strike, the District will have to pay attention to the critical services Local 99 members provide every day. They will be required to ensure that students receive all the instructional time and services they need. This may mean that they hire temporary workers. However, the District cannot permanently replace striking workers.

By | 2018-02-13T17:03:53+00:00 January 26th, 2018|Bargaining Updates|

15 Comments

  1. Jose February 7, 2018 at 3:02 am - Reply

    I will strike, we as Building and grounds workers are getting kill with the work overload. And no raise. The cost of living is getting higher and higher everyday. Its not fair. I haven’t get a raise in long time. But my bills and rent get higher everyday.

  2. Rosa Lomeli February 2, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

    We need to strike to prove that we are serious and that we are worth more than 2%.

  3. Adriana Castellano January 30, 2018 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I vote no on the strike.

  4. Patricia Meza January 29, 2018 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    I have forwarded this information to my lausd peers.
    This has been a continuous fight with no one listening
    And inorder to be heard and understood ,I vote to STRIKE.

  5. Thelma Rozelle January 28, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

    STRIKE UNITED ALL CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL

  6. Erica January 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    We have to stand up and fight the good fight . how discousting for lausd to only want to give us 2% raise when they gave themselfs a 40% raise increase and continue to brake contract. We are expected to do more duties with no additional pay while the cost of living contnues to increase. I have to work 2 jobs to be able to afford housing and groceries.

  7. Kilani Hutchinson January 27, 2018 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I think our dues should go into a strike fund to support- at least in part- our members if we have to strike to make our point.

  8. Aisha Reed January 27, 2018 at 8:41 am - Reply

    I agree with going on strike.

  9. irma ordonez January 26, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    i ment they reduce my hours on october 26 2017.

  10. irma ordonez January 26, 2018 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I got my ours cut to 7 with no specifc explanation . i didnt even have time to figure something out . my rent increses 100.00 dolars a month,every year and im the only source of income. LAUSD only gave me three days of notification before I got my hours reduced and i been working 8 hours since i started working in special education.it felt like a bucket of ice water on my headand my heart pounding like crazy with fear and worry , i cant afford my rent any more and why am i going through this? just because some corrupt people wants more money in their bank accounts. ? do I have any rights? do i deserved any respect? I work hard ,I love my students and try not to be absent so i dont put the teacher and students to struggle with out my assistance because usually there is no people to sub. but who care up in the district if kids are deservice when we are absent or the hours cut? up in the board district are enjoying their big homes and out dinning while i cant afford my weekly groceries. the union needs to stand strong for us and scream loud for our rights. Im ok for the strike because only i KNOW the level of stress im going through since they reduce my hours on october 26,2018.please please get my hour back.

  11. Merari January 26, 2018 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Bring it on !!!!!!!

  12. Jaime Bianez January 26, 2018 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    United we stand , we must demand a fair contract. If not this will be the start of no more benefits and so on. We all need a fair wage.

  13. Manny cruz January 26, 2018 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Remember we couldn’t go on strike. Is that true ? Why now.

  14. Irene Neustrom January 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Strike if it means getting our hour back and a higher raise 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  15. Talisha Hicks January 26, 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Sorry but no strike. I can’t afford to miss days off of work, not an option for me

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