U.T.L.A. or United Teachers Los Angeles, is leading 32,000 teachers and staff to strike in the nation’s second-largest school district.
“This is our fight, this is their fight, this is a fight that the community deserves to win.”
Leticia Callela-Austin, a music teacher within the Los Angeles Unified School District, is talking about the strike.
“We’re empowered, we definitely feel like right now there is a hunger for this movement.”
A movement where teachers are asking for change.
“Number one a cap of class sizes. Number two, we need more school nurses that are hired not only for a year so that there is a full time nurse on campus. And number three, to have libraries on campuses and they are closed because you don’t have certified librarians on campus, that’s just ludicrous,” she added.
They are also asking for a 6.5% pay raise, but Leticia assures that this strike is about much more than that.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about the kids.It’s about having resources for them so they are whole human beings when they go out into society. We don’t want to feel like we failed them.
Something that Trina Gonzales-Alesi, the president of the Desert Sands Teachers Association stands with.
“We are supporting our union brothers and sisters in LA, in this strike,” Trina told NBC Palm Springs.
In fact, she feels change is right around the corner.
“I think we are at a turning point because people are starting to realize that every single other profession takes teachers to get there, she added.
Change that both Trina and Leticia assure is all for the students. Trina says that students, parents and teachers need to stay strong during this time and have faith that everything will be resolved, to the students’’ benefit.
“We love them. We miss them. We want to be in the classes teaching them. We are not going to stop fighting for them. We want them to get the education that they deserve,” added Leticia.
The district says its pockets aren’t as deep as the teachers’ union suggests, and that at this rate, it might not even have enough money to meet a required one-percent reserve by the 2021-2022 school year.