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Los Angeles Teachers' Union Says It's Ready To Strike

Jan 12, 2019
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A tense week in Los Angeles as the teachers' union and the city school district try to make a deal to avoid a teachers' strike. The district upped their offer on Friday, but the union said it wasn't enough. United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl spoke at a press conference after the day of negotiations.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ALEX CAPUTO-PEARL: Get ready because, on Monday, we will be on strike for our students, for our schools and for the future of public education in Los Angeles.

(CHEERING)

SIMON: NPR's Elissa Nadworny has more from Los Angeles.

ELISSA NADWORNY, BYLINE: While the union and the district were at the negotiating table, LA history teacher Rosa Jimenez (ph) was at the front of her class with a simple question.

ROSA JIMENEZ: What does the labor union do?

NADWORNY: A high-school junior named Ingrid answers.

INGRID: A labor union is an organization of workers that's formed in the purpose for, like, benefiting, like, the workers.

JIMENEZ: And what is one thing that they're able to do? What was that other word that - we wrote the definition down.

UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Strike.

JIMENEZ: Strike.

NADWORNY: Students may see their lesson come to life on Monday, when their teachers plan to strike for more money, for smaller classes, for more nurses, among other things. The district says it just doesn't have the money to meet those demands. And if there is a strike, the district says schools will be open, stocked by administrators, volunteers and newly hired substitutes. Elissa Nadworny, NPR News, Los Angeles. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.