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  • Teachers gathered after going on strike, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., Jan. 14, 2019.

    Teachers gathered after going on strike, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., Jan. 14, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 23 January 2019

Los Angeles teachers voted to ratify an agreement to end a strike that began on Dec. 14.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) announced a resolution Tuesday, which ended the first teachers' strike in more than 30 years. 

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Los Angeles Teachers' Union Head Aims to Resume Talks 'Soon'

District Superintendent Austin Beutner, union president Alex Caputo Pearl, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Gracetti announced that they have reached an agreement after 21 hours of negotiations.

The agreement includes an increase in salaries, the reduction in the size of classes, and the hiring of more nurses, counselors and librarians. There will also be more effective regulation of "charter" schools, which are public centers administered by private companies.

"It is very rare that you go to the bargaining table with as many demands as we had and you win almost every single one of them," Caputo-Pearl said.

This agreement was achieved in part to Garcetti's mediations.

"Thank you all for being here this morning. Nothing is more important than the education and safety of our children and we all have something important to say," the mayor stated.

Superintendent Beutner, who said, last week, that the teachers' demands would bankrupt the district, stressed the importance of working together to improve the education system.

"The strike that nobody wanted has been left behind," Beutner said and added that "we can not solve 40 years of underinvestment in public education in a week or with just one contract... Now that our educators and students return to the classes we must focus on providing long-term solutions."

Under the agreement, Los Angeles teachers will receive a three percent salary increase this year and another three percent increase in 2020. The number of nursing workers will increase by 150 people in the 2019-2020 period and by 316 in 2021- 2011. The district also pledged to invest US$175 million during the 2019-21 period and US$228 million in 2021-22.

The LAUSD is the United States' second largest public school district, which served about 734,641 students, including 107,142 charter students and 69,867 adult students, according to 2017 data.

Parents and students had also joined the strike of some 34,000 teachers that began on Dec. 14. Teachers are expected to return to the classrooms Wednesday after the strike ends.

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