LAUSD teachers union ratifies labor agreement

Members of the union representing Los Angeles Unified School District teachers have overwhelmingly approved a labor agreement that includes a 21% salary increase and reductions in class sizes.

The 27,171 members of United Teachers Los Angeles who cast ballots between Tuesday and Thursday 94.13% voted to ratify the three-year agreement reached April 18, union president Cecily Myart-Cruz announced Friday.

According to the LAUSD, the agreement includes a 21% wage hike, beginning with 3% effective July 1, 2022; 4% on Jan. 1, 2023; 3% on July 1, 2023; 4% on Jan. 1, 2024; 3% on July 1, 2024; and 4% on Jan. 1, 2025.

It also includes an additional $20,000 increase for nurses; $3,000 for psychologists, psychiatric social workers, counselors and other "special services" providers; $2,500 for special education teachers; and $1,500 for early education teachers.

When the agreement was announced, the district noted that the increases were on top of 5% hikes included in the 2021-22 district budget. UTLA negotiators had been pushing for a 20% across-the-board wage hike during their labor talks with the district.

The pact also calls for a class-size reduction of two students in all classes from transitional kindergarten through 12th grade, along with additional counselors at all high schools with 900 or more students.

"This agreement demonstrates that when we stand together, we can transform our schools for the better," Myart-Cruz said in a statement. "It acknowledges the impact of the pandemic, years of disinvestment and economic hardship, while standing firm on things school faculty need to provide quality education to our students.

"Our efforts to mobilize members, parents and community supporters were vital to our success. This contract will set the national standard for all other educators to achieve liveable wages and solidify an equitable future where students are supported in a healthy learning environment."

The contract, covering 2022-25, still needs to be ratified by the LAUSD Board of Education.