LOS ANGELES (May 13, 2014) – The Board of Education, describing income inequality as one of “the most pressing economic, social and civil right issues, voted to support a living wage of $15 an hour for workers at hotels with more than 100 rooms.
“I am proud that our Board of Education today stood with the thousands of working LAUSD families in demanding respect and dignity for hotel workers who serve the food, clean the rooms and carry the luggage in the tourist industry, one of the most profitable industries in the nation. When we stand with our families, we support a better future for all kids,” said Board Vice President Steve Zimmer, who sponsored the resolution.
Board Members Bennett Kayser and Mónica GarcÍa were co-sponsors. They also voted ‘yes,’ along with Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic and Board Member Tamar Galatzan. School Board Member Mónica Ratliff, the only one not to approve, abstained.
“The entire public sector is challenged to support the call for the living wage increase for hotel workers,” said School Board Member García. “We must interrupt poverty by helping all children learn to read and write and all workers earn at least $15 per hour.”
Currently, the L.A. Council’s economic development committee has requested a study regarding an increase in pay for hotel workers at the city’s largest hotels. The majority of school board members agreed, while advocating approval of a new city ordinance that would require the pay raise.
Living low-income to student performance, the resolution stated, “Research demonstrates poverty widens the opportunity gap that leads to academic achievement for students.” It also noted “thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District parents are employees of the hotel and tourism industry….and deserve to earn a living wage to help lift their families out of poverty.”
The board directed Superintendent John Deasy to convey a copy of the resolution to all members of the Los Angeles City Council. The resolution also pointed out that neighboring cities, including West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Long Beach had already provided a raise for employees in the hotel and tourism industry.