“There’s only so much workers can take and now we’re rising up”
Mass demonstration as Los Angeles strike reaches fifth day
19 January 2019
Tens of thousands of striking Los Angeles teachers and their supporters descended on Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles Friday as the walkout by more than 33,000 educators in the second-largest school district in America reached its fifth day. The teachers, who have won the support of the overwhelming majority of city residents, are fighting low pay, overcrowded classrooms, lack of sufficient nurses, school psychologists and librarians and the growth of charter schools.
As an estimated 60,000 rallied in the second-largest school district in the US, opposition by teachers spread across California and the nation. Also, on Friday, more than 500 teachers at 10 schools in Oakland, California carried out a wildcat “sickout” followed by a march and rally to fight plans to close one-third of the city’s schools. Like LA teachers, the unions, working with the Democratic Party, have kept teachers on the job for more than 18 months without a new contract. In a provocative action, Oakland Unified School District superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell threatened teachers that for each 1 percent raise they achieve, more than $2 million will be cut in benefits or school services.
Virginia teachers, inspired by the strike in Los Angeles, will rally on January 28 in front of the state legislature in the capital of Richmond. Teachers are outraged that they make $9,000 a year less than the national average, even as the state legislature recently approved more than $573 million in tax breaks for Amazon.
The United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union, which resumed negotiations with the…