On Jan. 5, there was a citywide chair meeting to discuss materials and steps for the strike. (Photo courtesy of United Teachers Los Angeles)
Fountain Valley High School

Los Angeles teachers union calls for a strike as tensions rise between district and union

Negotiations to call off a massive teachers’ strike in Los Angeles fell short on Monday, and a new meeting was assigned for Jan. 9 between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), a day before the planned strike.

In mid-December 2018, demonstrators first took to protesting in the streets to advocate for smaller classroom sizes, bigger staff, and pay raises. Teachers, students, and other representatives of the union all participated to voice their concern over the issue. The union chose Jan. 10 as a full strike due to further disputes between the LAUSD and UTLA over the better way to fund and deal with these issues.

The LAUSD educates about 694,000 students in its schools, so a teachers’ strike would heavily affect how its schools would function. An estimated 30,000 teachers plan to strike, but according to school officials, students are still expected to stay at school. Substitute teachers and administrators are planned to instruct and advise the students on the day of the strike.

Plans for a Thursday strike, however, depend on whether the teachers union gave the LAUSD a legally required 10-day notice in advance of the arranged date. According to lawyers for the UTLA, it’s also possible that the strike would be held off until Jan. 14 instead of Jan. 10, as court members and lawyers are set to discuss the legal principalities over the set strike date.