In today’s News and Commentary, Los Angeles Unified School District workers have approved a union contract after last month’s three-day strike over pay and staffing and, for the first time in the school’s 250+ year history, Rutgers University faculty and staff are on strike.
Over the weekend, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) workers approved a union contract after a three-day strike over wages and staffing (which OnLabor reported on two weeks ago). Service Employees International Union Local 99 said Saturday that the agreement will increase wages by 30% for workers who are paid an average of $25,000 a year. The contract also includes a $1,000 bonus for employees who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic, and expanded family health care benefits. Still, the school district’s Board of Education must approve the contract. The Board intends to vote on it later this month.
For the first time in the school’s 256-year history, Rutgers University faculty are on strike. On Sunday night, the leaders of three of Rutgers’s twelve unions declared themselves strike-ready. Ninety-four percent of members of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers, the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, and AAUP-Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey—which collectively represent more than 9,000 educators, researchers, and clinicians at all three Rutgers campuses (more than half of the university’s unionized workforce)—voted to authorize the strike after negotiations between the administration and unions broke down.
Workers at Rutgers are seeking equal pay for work performed by adjunct faculty, job security, access to affordable health insurance, course caps and control over course schedules, a rent freeze for students, guaranteed funding, pay transparency, and workload standards for medical clinical faculty. On Friday, the school’s University Senate passed a resolution calling upon Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway to negotiate with the union, yet Holloway and other university administrators maintain that they are “fully prepared” to go to court to prevent a strike from happening, rather than negotiate with the workers.
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