Jan. 14 — Today, some 27,000 members and supporters of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) picketed school sites on the rainy first morning of the Los Angeles teachers’ strike, then gathered for a huge rally at Grand Park downtown.
Students walked out of many schools to join the rally. Some traveled on a union-supplied bus to show support for their teachers, school nurses, counselors and librarians.
Thousands of union signs showed that these education workers are fighting, on behalf of their students, to turn back years of defunding and neglect by the national drive to privatize public schools.
Struggle-La Lucha activists joined the morning picket line at Maya Angelou High School in South Central Los Angeles, followed by the mass rally downtown. (See videos from the picket line below.)
Bargaining had broken off on Friday, Jan. 11. In response to the announcement of a new state budget that includes more money for education, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) came forward with a new contract proposal. But the new offer was more publicity stunt than bargaining, and negotiators for the teachers and school workers rejected it immediately.
Instead, union organizers spent the weekend preparing for the strike on Monday and the days ahead.
On Tuesday, after the morning picketing at school sites, UTLA members will rally at the office of the California Charter Schools Association. Seven more rallies are scheduled for Wednesday after the morning picketing, including at LAUSD headquarters and two LAUSD district offices.
Details of all strike activities can be found on the calendar on UTLA’s website.
Union power! Go UTLA!
Photos: SLL, John Parker
Videos: John Parker