LAUSD Votes to Increase Minimum Wage for School Workers

The increase would most affect about 20,000 LAUSD workers making $8 or $9 an hour

By Jeanne Kuang
|  Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014  |  Updated 5:15 PM PDT
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The LA Unified School District board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new contract that would raise district workers' minimum wage to $15 an hour in three years.

The wage increase would benefit about 20,000 LAUSD employees who currently make $8 or $9 an hour, union spokesperson Blanca Gallegos said. Both workers and the district must approve the tentative agreement reached Friday, the result of a month of negotiation between the two parties.

Members of SEIU Local 99, which represents about 33,000 cafeteria workers, custodians, special education assistants and other employees in the school district are voting on the contract in a three-day period that ends Wednesday.

Under the agreement, wages would be increased to $11 an hour for the upcoming school year, $13 an hour next year and $15 an hour in 2016. Those already making $15 an hour would receive a 6.64 percent increase over the next three years, the union said in a statement.

Gallegos said the contract would help workers and their families, many of whom are LAUSD students.

"Nearly half of our members have children who attend LAUSD schools," she said. "It also helps thousands of students, whose parents will be earning a living wage in the district."

The agreement also includes negotiations to increase the number of full-time jobs in the district.

Some union members oppose the agreement, saying the wage increases are not enough for those who already earn close to $15 an hour.

Gallegos said the contract would "lift the floor for wages in the district."

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