It’s back to school in L.A!
After two weeks, the Los Angeles teachers strike has finally reached an end after the Los Angeles Unified School District and the United Teachers Los Angeles reached a tentative agreement today following a marathon session of last-minute negotiations that went until early this morning.
The agreement that could see teachers back in their classrooms as early as Wednesday was announced this morning by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a City Hall press conference. Garcetti said it was a “historic agreement” that will see smaller class sizes and a “new day” in public education in the city.
Details of the new contract were left out of the presser, but all parties promised more would be revealed “later.” The deal still needs to be formally approved by the United Teachers Los Angeles union.
The agreement between the LAUSD and the UTLA comes after the teachers began the first strike to hit LA schools in 30 years on January 14. After several wet days on the picket lines for the union’s 35,000 members, nearly 500,000 Los Angeles kids at home or at work with their parents, and more than $100 million in lost funding for the nation’s second-largest school district, the two sides went back to the bargaining table late last week.
Since the City Hall-sponsored talks began, UTLA has been posting updates on its website and social media saying vague things like “We are making progress.” In remarks of his own, and as schools remained open but with few students in attendance, middleman Garcetti echoed the sentiment, saying that he was “optimistic” about “bringing our teachers and young people back into their classrooms.”
After 21 hours of negotiating at City Hall, bargaining teams from LAUSD and UTLA concluded at 6:13 AM. Leadership will reconvene at 9:15 AM.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) January 22, 2019
After nearly two years of negotiations, talks between officials at the LAUSD and the teachers union officially hit the skids January 11 over differences on pay, the expansion of charter schools, class sizes and staffing levels.
Out on the streets with large rallies and picket lines, UTLA members — which include school nurses and librarians as well as teachers — have been successful in holding public opinion in their favor and attracting the support of politicians, Hollywood parents and fellow unions including Los Angeles — as this tweet from this morning shows:
— United Teachers Los Angeles (@UTLAnow) January 22, 2019