Staff Editorial: Teachers protest for better wages

After years without an increase in pay, Los Angeles Unified School District teachers still dedicate themselves to their jobs, even if it means coming early and staying late.

With the recent discussions about an increase in salary, many are asking “Why is LAUSD unable to increase teachers’ salaries?”

It has been about eight and a half years since teachers have seen a raise. Yes, it is understandable that there are various budgets and projects that require attention and money. But this should be a priority as well.

If teachers take care of their students daily, then shouldn’t the district take care of its teachers? These men and women devote their lives to give all students an education. There should be a way to repay them and at the very least increase their pay.

In recent months, there have been negotiations between LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) but so far, they have been unable to reach a compromise. Originally, UTLA requested a 17 percent raise and later decreased it to an 8.5 percent raise.

According to Los Angeles Daily News article, “LAUSD teachers’ pay will be docked if they boycott faculty meetings, superintendent says,” from March 18, there are three impasse hearings scheduled for March 26, April 6 and April 15. An impasse is a circumstance where progress cannot be made. Maybe after this, UTLA and the district can come to a compromise where they can both agree.

In an effort to have their voices heard, teachers are boycotting faculty meetings after school.  As a result of this, Superintendent Ramon Cortines informed teachers that if they continued this, then their pay could be affected negatively.

If the impasse cannot be resolved, then there is a likelihood that teachers will go on strike. 

Another question that is raised by this situation is whether it is difficult for the district to give the salary UTLA requests because it will take away from the students.

Over the years, students and their activities have been the ones on the chopping block during financial problems that often overtake the district. Even if the teachers get the raise, there may be unknown future costs that come with it.

Regardless, there is no doubt that teachers should be able to receive a notable raise for their hard work and dedication that is seen daily. It’s difficult to make up for the absence of a raise in the past eight and a half years. But this is another chance for teachers to get something they really deserve.