Los Angeles teachers reach deal that could end strike after six days

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By David K. Li

The Los Angeles Unified School District and its teachers reached a tentative labor deal that could end a six-day-strike, officials said on Tuesday.

Mayor Eric Garcetti praised both the union and LAUSD administrators.

“These are people who are committed to public education,” he said. “I do think this is new chapter.”

Union members still need to vote on the pact to formally end their strike, which began on Jan. 14.

The LAUSD has about 600,000 students in K-12. Campuses have stayed open during the strike with a skeleton staff.

The LAUSD is the nation’s second largest school system and runs independently with its own superintendent and elected trustees.

Superintendent Austin Beutner, center, speaks during a news conference as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, and Union President Alex Caputo-Pearl listen after a tentative deal was reached between school officials and the teachers union after a six-day strike on Jan. 22, 2019.Richard Vogel / AP

Garcetti acted as a mediator and said the labor action, while painful, forced the issue that led to an agreement.

“The strike helped at the end of the day,” Garcetti said. “Listening to each other helped.”

Details of the tentative pact will be made public later on Tuesday, officials said. Both sides predicted that rank-and-file members and the school board would approve the tentative pact by Tuesday night.

The deal will lead to a 6-percent pay hike and bring plans to reduce class size.

“Suffice to say in the first year, every school will see a reduction,” Mayor Garcetti said. “Every year for the next four years, they will see reductions.”

A key sticking point going into the strike was union accusations that LAUSD was sitting on huge reserves that it was unwilling to spend.

Superintendent Austin Beutner said LAUSD will remain on firm financial footing with this deal. Union chief Alex Caputo-Pearl said members are still suspicions, but are willing to shake hands with management.

“I think we, frankly, still have a few differences on key parts of the district’s budget” but not enough to scuttle the deal, Caputo-Pearl said.

source: nbcnews.com