LA schools shut down as employee go on strike

March 21, 2023
Empty desks in a classroom

The working conditions have gone down every year. We’re very understaffed.

Special education assistant, Danielle Murray, who is striking alongside tens of thousands of workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District over stalled contract negotiations.

Why It Matters: The Los Angeles Unified School District – the second largest school system in the nation – has closed all of its schools (leaving few open where there will be adult supervision, though no instruction) on Tuesday; the schools will likely remain closed through Thursday as members of Service Employees International Union, Local 99 call for higher wages and better working conditions. The union represents about 30,000 bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, teachers' aides, etc. and has received the support of thousands of other staff members in the district. As talks remain up in the air, normal district operations are on pause for the more than 400,000 students in the L.A. school system.

  • Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the union has not negotiated with the school district directly. He stated, "I made myself available alongside my team for hours today, hoping that we would, in fact, be able to have a conversation for a whole host of reasons, some of which I do not understand. We were never in the same room, or even in the same building."
  • The Local 99 union released a statement and said, “We want to be clear that we are not in negotiations with LAUSD. We continue to be engaged in the impasse process with the state.” They also indicated that the district "compromised confidentiality about the negotiations" (USA Today).


Los Angeles schools shut down as staff begin 3-day strike (The Associated Press)

Los Angeles schools closed as strike begins; negotiations at a standstill (USA Today)

by Jenna Lee,