AFSCME members and parents from District Council 36 in Los Angeles joined the teachers from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in their strike to bargain for the common good. Last week, they celebrated with their fellow public service workers when they reached an agreement to promote better education and better conditions for their students.
The teachers, members of United Teachers Los Angeles, ended their six-day strike after reaching an agreement that calls for hiring more full-time nurses and librarians and ensuring student access to dedicated counselors. The teachers went on strike to highlight the many ways in which their students were being shortchanged.
Shirley Ly, a children's librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library and member of AFSCME Local 2626, and her son stood with the boy’s teachers from Solano Avenue Elementary School.
“Being a librarian and having a husband who is an educator in the LAUSD, I have a great respect for our teachers,” said Ly.
Ly added, “I’m so grateful for our teachers’ commitment to our communities and our children. They have been fighting so that my son and other students have the opportunity for a better future. Supporting our teachers means supporting a brighter future for our education system to develop our future leaders.”
Ly and her family also brought snacks to teachers on the strike lines.
Wendy Ruiz, a proud member of AFSCME Local 3090, was happy to brave the rain to join the UTLA members on the picket line, including her daughter Camilla’s kindergarten teacher.
“She is one of the most amazing teachers. She loves her students. She treats each child with love and respect,” she said. “I can’t say enough about how amazing she is as a person, but most especially as a teacher that touches and shapes the life of young impressionable minds and hearts.”
Ruiz added, “Today my child learned that doing what’s right isn’t always easy, or comfortable. She learned that education matters. And that she and her friends deserve a good education.”
Another member of AFSCME Local 3090, Juan José Gutiérrez, didn’t just join the picket line. He also helped with the “Tacos for Teachers” GoFundMe campaign, which raised more than $30,000 to keep teachers well fed on the picket line and at marches.
“I joined strikers on the line to demonstrate to the district that there is widespread community support for the teachers and support staff, as it is clear the motives are student-oriented and not just about decent pay for the crucial work educators do,” he said. “We must not allow the further deterioration of our public schools and halt the process of privatizing the fundamental human right to education.”