Support LA Teachers, Wear Red
LA teachers are preparing to strike and teachers are showing support by wearing Red on Thursday
If you drop your kids off at school on Thursday, January 10th take a look at what color the teachers are wearing. If they are wearing red, then you know that they support working people. This is because the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is asking all of their members nationwide to wear red to support the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA).
UTLA has been in negotiations with the Los Angeles School Board for 20 months, but the board has refused to move off of their draconian austerity measures. The district is asking for healthcare rollbacks and the ability to unilaterally increase class sizes. The union is asking for the school board to use some of the $1.9 billion in reserve funds to hire more nurses, counselors, and librarians to address overcrowding in classrooms. They also want some of those reserve funds to be dedicated to increasing the focus on special education, early education, bilingual education, and adult education. Finally, they want to stop the drain on the public school system from over-testing and charter schools, which cost the school district $600 million each year.
After working without a contract for a year, the UTLA originally set a strike date of Thursday, January 10th. However, the school district brought them to court to try and stop the strike, all while hiring 400 scabs to fill in for the union teachers. Worried that the court would delay the strike and worried about the impact that a city-wide job action would have on the 600,000 families that attend LA schools, the union has made the decision to delay their strike until Monday, January 14th. They are committing to walking out unless the district gets their act together and takes part in real bargaining.
Even with the strike date being moved, teachers from across the country will be showing up to school wearing red in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in LA. Similar campaigns were done for teachers on strike in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona in 2018.
A UTLA strike would be one of the largest in recent memory. The union represents 33,000 educators, nurses and school counselors in the LA school district, making them the second largest teachers local union in the country.