As the Los Angeles teachers strike enters its second week, there is a possibility that an agreement will be reached tonight. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) released statements that there has been progress in negotiations.
“We have been working tirelessly to reach an agreement, and have made tremendous progress with five days and more than 50 hours of negotiations at City Hall,” said Garcetti of the Los Angeles Unified School District and UTLA negotiations. “The parties are still at the table, and I am optimistic that we have the momentum to take those final steps toward bringing our teachers and young people back into their classrooms.”
The UTLA made a similar statement on their website saying that there is progress adding, “The two sides were bargaining until late last night and have been bargaining around the clock since Thursday. We resumed talks early this morning.”
However, whether or not an agreement is reached tonight, the UTLA said that they “will NOT be going to work” and picket lines will commence on Tuesday morning as planned. In a tweet, the UTLA announced the rally which will take place at L.A. City Hall and feature guest Alyssa Milano.
“The reason is that even if we have an agreement late tonight, our members will need to ratify the TA before we end the strike,” said the UTLA. “We have systems in place where everyone will be able to be informed about the tentative agreement and vote on it, over a period of hours.”
They added, “Our members voted 98% to authorize a strike, and when we end the strike it will also be up to our members to ratify any tentative agreement. We continue to bargain for an agreement today and will keep you posted.”
The LAUSD is the second largest school district in America and the strike began Jan. 14. This is the first full teachers’ strike in 30 years. Having seen over $100 million in state funding evaporate due to student absences since the strike began, the LAUSD has maintained that the 863 schools and facilities in the district remain open. However, despite the presence of “qualified L.A. Unified staff,” including 400 recently hired substitute teachers, according to the LAUSD, only 132,000 students showed up for class when the strike started.