The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a union representing 30,000 Los Angeles school bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians and other support staff started a three-day strike Tuesday, effectively stopping classes at hundreds of schools in the nation’s second-largest school district.
Lee Adler is an expert on education and academic union issues at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
“There is unmistakable certainty that LA schools can only function with the academic and service personnel aid that SEIU members provide to teachers and children. The Los Angeles Unified School District has monies of an undisclosed amount in their reserve funds that would allow them to respond to the SEIU demands for their non- teaching employees.
“One issue that has not received a lot of attention is the role of charter schools play as a drain on public monies in the LAUSD system. LA has a much higher percentage of children in charters than does NYC and one must wonder whether monies flowing to charters might make it more difficult for the LAUSD to meet the compelling economic needs of the SEIU membership and very shortly the economic needs of their teaching corps.
"Governor Newsome best not be a Johnny-come-lately in the LAUSD labor mess. There is money in LA and in Sacramento to solve the needs of LAUSD's educators. The parents of the children impacted by this ‘labor trouble’ likely believe that there is no better expenditure of public funds than on their public schools."
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