June 18, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
Los Angeles, CA – The union representing Los Angeles Unified School workers is fighting to get some 10,000 employees included in the district’s healthcare plan.
Dozens of labor activists and school workers picketed outside the LAUSD Board of Education to demand healthcare access for all district employees.
Ernesto Arce has more from Los Angeles.
Teacher’s assistants, after-school caregivers and playground supervisors protested outside Los Angeles Unified headquarters asking that the board of education reconsider health care coverage for 10,264 employees who were denied benefits. The Service Employees International Union local 99 said it’s currently in negotiations with officials from the nation’s second largest school district to overturn the decision.
Max Arias, executive director of SEIU Local 99, said the union heeded calls from the workers who he says deserve what all other district employees were offered.
[Max Arias]: "They have to make a decision about whether to put food on their table at times or whether to buy medication for the children. These are families that during the summer don't have jobs and they don't have healthcare either. They have to pick up cans, etcetera."
Union President Barbara Torres said that health care costs make up about 20 percent of their salaries, and for two or more dependents it could cost nearly 90 percent of an average teacher’s assistant’s salary.
[Barbara Torres]: "They are not just a number. These are workers. They are parents of LAUSD students, the very poor students that you say are a priority."
For Workers Independent News, Ernesto Arce, Los Angeles