More than 400,000 students in the L.A. Unified School District will return to classes Friday following a three-day strike by service workers that shuttered the nation's second-largest school system. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
March 24 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District will resume classes on Friday after a three-day strike by a union representing staff members concluded without a deal.
The Service Employees International Union Local 99 spokeswoman Blanca Gallegos said its members will return to work today hoping they have brought enough public attention to their situation where headway can finally be made in negotiations, which have been going on for a year.
"Our struggle was heard around the country," a statement from the union said. "We will keep standing strong until LAUSD also values our work. Our strike brought us back to contract talks with the leadership of Mayor Karen Bass. Our team has been working hard to reach an agreement."
A public schedule sent out Bass' office said she will get involved in talks between the district and the union, as her officials said the mayor hopes to "guarantee fair treatment of all LAUSD workers."
Bass' office has been engaged in trying to energize talks since Wednesday when the union's strike entered its second day.
The union represents some 30,000 workers, including custodians, cafeteria workers and bus drivers, who are asking for a 30% raise. The school district said it has responded by offering a 23% recurring raise and a 3% cash bonus.
Union demonstrators said while they are returning to work on Friday, other strikes and rallies could take place if contract negotiations don't make progress. Some have said it is already hard to make ends meet without the extra support.
"We have a lot of our coworkers who have two to three jobs, so when they come to school, we want them to be fresh, we want them to be filled with energy," Mirna Hernandez, a special education assistant and union member, told KTLA-TV.