Teaching Assistants Set to Resume Strike Today

Teaching assistants are expected to resume their “rolling strike” today as contract negotiations continue with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The strike, which began Nov. 28, was temporarily halted Dec. 6.

Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents the 10,000 assistants, said employees will stay out of 142 schools in east and South-Central Los Angeles. The assistants, who are 80% minority and 70% bilingual Latinas, have targeted schools in Latino areas where most teachers do not speak Spanish and many students do not speak English.

The union is striking for health insurance, a minimum four-hour workday and 15 paid days off a year. The district has proposed paying half the assistants’ health insurance and allowing four paid days off, but says financial difficulties limit its flexibility in guaranteeing a minimum workday.