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30 Years Have Passed, But Has Anything Changed?

Warren Aguiling, Staff Writer

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Thirty years ago, teachers were fighting for better pay and more power in the administration. After many stagnant months of negotiating by LAUSD, Los Angeles Unified School District, and UTLA, United Teachers Los Angeles, it has come to a climax, as UTLA goes on strike. Although a strike seems completely new and daunting to the public, these two groups have had a long history, with the most recent strike being a generation ago.

In 1989 over 20,000 teachers went on strike in order to gain more of a voice in the administration and a pay raise. The teachers came out successful, as after nine days of picketing and striking, the district met their demands. The teachers ended up receiving a sizable pay raise of eight pecent for three consecutive years. The teachers came out successful and received the outcome they wanted.

Although, the 1989 strike serves as a glimmer of hope, the aftermath of what happened depicts the problems with stiking. This is because after these raises were handed out and these contracts ran out, LAUSD started to layoff and make cuts in order to essentially revert back any gain that UTLA had obtained.

Comparing the 1989 strike to the present one in place, the demands that the present-day teachers are asking for seem absolutely miniscule. UTLA is demanding a 6.5% raise, a limitation on how large a classroom can become, and also more jobs and aid for counselors, nurses, psychologists, and other school faculty positions. This demand is because teachers haven’t received a raise since the 2008 recession. This strike will have over double the number of participants, as the expected turnout is over 50,000 teachers.

The outcome of this strike is huge, because LAUSD is the second largest school district in the entire nation which could inspire others to take action. As teachers wages have become stagnant in other school districts and other states, this strike could play an influential part in empowering unions that were once too scared to fight.

 

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The Student News Site of Cleveland Charter High School
30 Years Have Passed, But Has Anything Changed?