STORY: Schools in Los Angeles are back in session Friday after a three-day strike by education workers ended with no breakthrough in demands.
Talks crumbled between the Los Angeles Unified School District and striking workers who demanded higher pay.
Tiffany Barba, a special education assistant on Thursday’s picket line, said she isn’t ready for things to return to normal.
“We're going to go back to work tomorrow after this, but I'm ready not to go back if we're going to keep having to fight, then I'm willing to do that. We're three days in and I'm willing to do some more days if we have to.”
Some 30,000 service workers, such as bus drivers, custodians, and cafeteria workers, walked off work on Tuesday.
The union says workers who earn $25,000 a year in one of the nation’s most expensive cities are long overdue for a raise, a view shared by teacher Liliana Cortez.
“We're facing housing insecurity, we're facing eviction, you know, you know, food insecurity. A lot of our workers are also LAUSD parents so their kids are LAUSD students. So it really impacts the entire district and really, it's not too much to ask for our workers, our educational workers to make more than In-N-Out.”
Workers asked for a 30% salary increase and an additional $2 per hour for lowest-paid staff.
The strike went on ahead, despite the district offering a 23% pay rise along with a 3% bonus.
Many workers anticipated an agreement might be revealed at the rally on Thursday.
But no such news was released.
“It's a long process. We don't want to sign something, at least this is my take, that we might regret later. You know, sometimes they put stuff on paper and you're so excited to sign it and then you get a resolution at the end, three or four years, like, why did I sign that? So in my take, it's better to take our time on it and get it done right the first time.”
LA’s strike is only the latest in a series of similar work actions by educators across the U.S. complaining of burnout and low wages that they say have led to a teacher shortage in many parts of the country.