L.A. Unified Reaches Salary Agreements With Key Labor Groups

LOS ANGELES (July 1, 2014) – The Los Angeles Unified School District today agreed to a multi-year pay increase for several labor partners, providing employees with their first salary raise after several years of sharp budget cuts.

The Los Angeles Board of Education, which oversees District schools, approved the labor agreements during its meeting today. Rank-and-file union members also must approve the proposals, which call for workers receiving salary increases of roughly 2 percent in 2014-15,
2 percent in 2015-16 and 2.5 percent in 2016-17.

The announcement affects a wide swath of District employees, from principals to custodians to cafeteria workers. For many union members, especially those at the lower pay range, the tentative agreement puts them one-step closer to achieving the American Dream.

“The important agreements approved by the board today mark a significant moment in the recent history of LAUSD,” said Board Vice President Steve Zimmer. “We have begun to rebuild our school communities while taking the first steps to make our employees whole. More than anything else, today’s actions show that collective bargaining can work for children, schools, employees and families.

He added, “The collaborative road is not the easiest road, but it is the right road. I am proud to be on that road with our partners.”

The tentative deals call for:

Service Employees International Union Local 99, whose 32,000 members commonly fill entry-level jobs, reaped a “living wage” adjustment that occurs over the next three years. This will lead by the contract’s end in 2016-17 to a minimum wage of $15 per hour, and semi-monthly pay for members in 2015.  
 
Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, who have 2,320 members employed as principals and administrators, secured a lump-sum payment for 2013-14, as well as a salary increase for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. The agreement also provides a financial incentive for employees with strong job performance in the 2015-16 year.
 
California School Employee Association Unit D, who have 3,733 members hired as library aides, gardeners and payroll clerks—otherwise known as technical and business service employees—will get a lump-sum payment for the 2013-14 year and alters their contractual agreements for hours and overtime.

Teamsters Local 572 Unit S, whose 3,100 members represent school administrative assistants, cafeteria managers and other supervisory staff, gain a lump-sum payment for the 2013-14 year and a salary increase in each of the next three school years. 
 
Employees unrepresented by a union earn a lump-sum payment for the 2013-14 school year, as well as annual salary raises in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. A financial incentive for job performance also will be phased-in over the next three years.   

Board Member Mónica García agreed that the deals struck with labor partners represented a positive sign for the District.
 
“Congratulations to SEIU Local 99, Teamsters Local 572, CSEA, AALA and Superintendent Deasy and his labor negotiations leadership team on reaching tentative agreements.  Every agreement with our labor partners is a movement towards educational wellness, economic recovery, and investment in our schools and students,” said Board Member Mónica García.  “Thank you to every employee for your continued investment and contribution to our students’ achievement.” 

Board Member Móníca Ratliff praised the “living wage” agreement with the Service Employees International Union, Local 99 and urged other employers to follow the District’s lead.   

“The District has very thoughtfully considered these wage increases,” she said. “Among other things, the District has built in a mechanism for renegotiation upon certain financial contingencies, and has explicitly agreed to investigate the feasibility of increasing hours and reducing the portion of part-time workers in the future.

“Other employers and bargaining units across Los Angeles, California, and the United States seeking to achieve a living wage would be well served to look to this memorandum of understanding as a possible model.”

Although school teachers were not affected by the latest salary increases, L.A. Unified hopes to begin negotiations with the union representing classroom educators, the United Teachers Los Angeles, later this month, said Vivian Ekchian, the District’s chief negotiator.   

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