By Sahid Fawaz
School employees in Los Angeles want a fair contract. And they are taking measures to ensure that they receive one.
"Thousands of Los Angeles Unified School District workers represented by the Service Employees International Union will begin voting today on whether to authorize the union to call a strike in the midst of contract talks.
Taking part in the LAUSD strike authorization vote will be district cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, special education assistants and other workers represented by SEIU Local 99, which has accused the district of unfair labor practices “and bad-faith bargaining.”
Voting is expected to continue through March 23. Union officials said if the workers authorize a strike, a walkout could potentially occur during the current school year.
'Our goal is to secure a fair contract,' said union Vice President Tanya Walters, a bus driver. 'We want good livelihoods for the dedicated school workers who help our children learn. And we want staffing levels that ensure every child has the support and services they need to succeed.'
The union has accused the district of cutting hours of special education assistants and under-staffing janitorial services at schools. The union also wants the district to increase its proposed 2 percent wage hike offer."
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