Letters to the Editor: Teachers have no doubt: We were right to strike with other LAUSD workers

Striking LAUSD workers and their supporters demonstrate at Los Angeles Historic State Park
Striking LAUSD workers and their supporters demonstrate at Los Angeles Historic State Park on Thursday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Here we go again. The idea that Service Employees International Union Local 99 went on strike, and that United Teachers Los Angeles joined in solidarity, for anything other than the long-term benefit of families and students in L.A. public schools misses the mark by a mile. (“Why LAUSD teachers are out of line to strike with SEIU workers,” letters, March 23)

Many people who carried signs in the pouring rain fought the same battles four years ago. Promises were made in 2019 that went unfulfilled, causing a lot of this mess.

We can’t get people to fill our missing teacher assistant positions, and the same goes for many other positions that the union serves. These workers are taking up the slack and are barely making enough to eat. If the district offered regular, sensible raises, we wouldn’t have to keep coming out in force every few years.


People in the district or those writing opinions far away from the classroom don’t see what we see every day. We see the need, so we stand together to continue fighting for what our schools and students deserve. And yes, that includes compensating people for their work with a fair wage.

The strike ended Thursday, but Local 99 and UTLA won’t back down until the Los Angeles Unified School District does what’s right.

Misti Kemmer, Cypress

The writer was the LAUSD Teacher of the Year in 2017.


To the editor: A letter writer vociferously criticized LAUSD teachers for striking in solidarity with SEIU workers. I doubt that person has ever been a teacher.


I am a retired teacher. Teachers do not teach in a vacuum. Support staff is essential for us to do our jobs.

Without support staff, who will clean the classrooms, sanitize the desks, clean the bathrooms, feed the students both breakfast and lunch, bus the children to school, keep our schools secure or perform myriad other jobs?

These wonderful people need a living wage, full-time work and benefits.

Vicki Lynch, Oceanside


To the editor: Yes, of course teachers were right to strike.

The purpose of a strike is to make things uncomfortable and show how essential workers are in the running of an organization. Union workers are supposed to support one another. The more support they receive from others, the more power they have in negotiations.

Organizations have lost sight of the importance of their workers, who are paid as little as possible while the managers, presidents and shareholders receive much better compensation.


I worked for years in the clerical workers union at the University of California system. Some of our employees relied on food stamps. At our strike, all of the unions at UC respected picket lines.

So again, yes, the teachers did and should have supported their fellow employees.

Rita Skinner, Riverside