LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles Unified School District and the union representing its teachers announced Tuesday, April 18, they have reached a tentative labor agreement that includes a 21% salary increase and reductions in class sizes.
“With this tentative agreement, LAUSD now has an opportunity to become one of the most successful school districts in the country,” United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) President Cecily Myart-Cruz said in a statement. “We held the line during bargaining on a number of initiatives because educators are the experts on what has the ability to transform LAUSD into a more equitable environment that not only improves students’ learning, but also the quality of life for LA families.
“Smaller class sizes will give our kids the attention and care they require, and competitive salaries will ensure our schools can successfully hire, retain and develop successful teachers and educators to mold our young leaders of tomorrow.”
The district issued a statement saying the agreement “significantly increases salaries for teachers across the district.”
“This agreement also focuses on instruction by reducing class sizes and increasing mental health and counseling services in order to better support the needs of students,” according to the district. “In keeping with the priorities in Los Angeles Unified’s Strategic Plan, the agreement with UTLA addresses years of pay inequity and inflation.”
The tentative contract, covering 2022-25, still needs to be ratified by UTLA members and the LAUSD Board of Education.
The district’s board on Tuesday is scheduled to approve a labor deal it reached late last month with the Service Employees International Union Local 99, which represents service workers. That contract includes a roughly 30% salary increase for custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, special education assistants and others.
The SEIU union staged a three-day strike in late March, and the UTLA union honored the picket line, shutting down district schools. Reaching the agreement with UTLA eliminates the possibility of another potential work stoppage.
UTLA members had recently begun boycotting after-school faculty meetings in a sign of union solidarity, while also taking part in occasional school pickets.
According to the LAUSD, the tentative agreement includes a 21% wage hike, beginning with 3% effective July 1, 2022; 4% on Jan. 1, 2023; 3% on July 1, 2023; 4% on Jan. 1, 2024; 3% on July 1, 2024; and 4% on Jan. 1, 2025.
It also includes an additional $20,000 increase for nurses; $3,000 for psychologists, psychiatric social workers, counselors and other “special services” providers; $2,500 for special education teachers; and $1,500 for early education teachers.
The district noted that the increases are on top of 5% hikes included in the 2021-22 district budget. UTLA negotiators had been pushing for a 20% across-the-board wage hike during their labor talks with the district.
The pact also calls for a class-size reduction of two students in all TK-12 classes, along with additional counselors at all high schools with 900 or more students.
“This agreement with UTLA is a necessary step not only to make Los Angeles Unified the district of choice for families but also the district of choice for teachers and employees,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said in a statement. “I am grateful that we reached an agreement with UTLA in a manner that reflects the dedicated work of our employees, provides a better academic experience for our students and raises the standards of compensation in Los Angeles and across the country.”
Arlene Inouye, UTLA bargaining co-chair and secretary, added in a statement, “Educators have always put their livelihoods on the line to ensure student success, and this tentative agreement illustrates our hard-fought commitment to making our schools a place where both faculty and students can thrive.”