As SEIU Local 99 members continue voting to authorize a strike this week, our efforts are getting a boost from elected officials. California Senate Leader Kevin de Leon, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assembly Member Mike Gipson and the CA Black Legislative Caucus all sent letters to LAUSD Board Members telling them they support our fight. They’re urging them to negotiate in good faith to avoid a strike. We’re proud to be getting support from legislators who value our work and who understand that we don’t want to strike, but we will to win the fair wages our families need and the staffing levels our students deserve.
In his letter to School Board President Monica Garcia, Senator Kevin de Leon writes: “A strike of this magnitude would not only adversely affect labor and management but more importantly, the students … The fact that after a year of collective bargaining negotiations there is still no agreement between the LAUSD and SEIU Local 99 is very concerning to me, particularly when it appears that the absence of an agreement has promoted the leadership of SEIU Local 99 to call for a strike vote … I would strongly urge LAUSD to continue to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair agreement, with all due urgency to avert a strike.”
In a letter written to individual school board members, Speaker Rendon writes: “After a year of negotiations, I am concerned that there is still no contract agreement with SEIU Local 99. I urge the school district to negotiate in good faith to reach a fair agreement and avert a strike … Ultimately, a strong collective bargaining agreement can improve support services for students and ensure good jobs that help families succeed.”
Writing to school board members on behalf of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Assembly Member Chris Holden, Chair of the Caucus, states in his letter: “We wholeheartedly support the custodians, cafeteria workers, special education assistants, bus driver, teacher assistants, playground assistants, and other dedicated education workers represented by SEIU Local 99 who ensure that children can learn in a clean, safe, and supportive environment. Many are working mothers and fathers, people of color whose own children attend LAUSD schools … Through their contract negotiations they are seeking to improve student services and their own livelihoods.”
In a separate letter to the board, Assembly Member Mike Gipson says: “I am writing to express my support for the members of SEIU Local 99 and their efforts to improve their lives and those of the students and families they serve.”