LOS ANGELES — A one-day work stoppage that had been planned for next week by a union supporting school bus drivers and other school support staff members has been canceled after leaders reached a tentative agreement Tuesday evening.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (USD) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 99 chapter, which includes cafeteria workers, special-education assistants, and custodians, in addition to bus drivers, reached a tentative agreement and will schedule a ratification vote soon, the union announced on its website.
The three-year agreement takes steps to resolve what the union said were unfair labor practices, and includes wage increases. Provisions in the agreement include continuing to fight against a cut in hours for special-education assistants, and resolving or submitting other unfair labor practice charges to arbitration. Union members will receive a 3% or 4% raise retroactive to July 1, 2017, as soon as the contract is ratified. Other improvements for bus drivers include the right to work additional hours and fewer steps in the bus driver wage scale to achieve the maximum wage.
The district and the union had been in negotiations on a new labor contract for more than 16 months, KPCC reports.
After talks between the district and the union stalled, mainly over the issue of pay increases, Los Angeles USD declared an impasse on Friday, and the union announced on Sunday that it was planning a 24-hour work stoppage for May 15. In a statement on its website, the union said that the strike was planned in response to the district’s decision to unilaterally reduce hours for special-education assistants during negotiations. Additionally, the union had filed charges over “discrimination and coercion of workers engaging in union activities.”
Members of the district’s teachers union told Los Angeles USD that their teachers would not cross the picket lines, potentially causing the district to have to close schools during the strike, according to KPCC.