Thousands of teachers protest in Los Angeles over pay, class conditions
Tehran (KNA) - Thousands of US teachers have rallied in Los Angeles, California, to demand higher wages and protest cuts to education funding in the nation's second-largest school district.
The teachers and their supporters wore red shirts, banged drums and carried signs that read "Stand With LA Teachers!" as they took to the streets on Saturday demanding a new contract.
The teachers union is threatening to go on strike next month for the first time in nearly 30 years as frustrations mount over more than 18 months of negotiations with Los Angeles Unified School District.
Leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles, a union representing Los Angeles teachers, rejected the latest contract offer last month.
The teachers union contends that the school district is hoarding a huge financial reserve that could be used to pay teachers more and improve conditions for students.
Union leaders also criticized a plan to reorganize the district by dividing it into 32 networks.
There has been no agreement despite three state mediation sessions, and the standoff is now in a fact-finding stage — the final step of a negotiation process under California state law.
School workers are also demanding smaller class sizes, more full-time nurses and librarians.
The district has said it's committed to bargaining in good-faith and providing teachers with better pay and support.
The district has more than 640,000 students in Los Angeles and 31 surrounding smaller cities.