Los Angeles teachers are ready for first strike in 30 years
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Teachers in Los Angeles are ready to strike Thursday over a contract dispute that follows teacher walkouts in other states that emboldened organized labor.
United Teachers Los Angeles says its 35,000 members would walk off the job for the first time in 30 years if a deal isn’t reached on higher pay and smaller class sizes in the nation’s second-largest school district.
The Los Angeles Unified School District says the union’s demands could bankrupt the school system. It’s projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.
Negotiations are continuing, but little progress is evident.
If a strike happens, schools will remain open. The district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers and others who leave for picket lines.