SAG-AFTRA issued a call Monday for its members to support striking Los Angeles teachers.
The actors union sent out an “action alert” urging members to join teachers on the picket line Tuesday afternoon in Hollywood, at the union’s adopted school.
“Thirty thousand educators across Los Angeles are now on strike, taking action to improve learning conditions in their classrooms and for the future of public education,” the union said in its alert. “SAG-AFTRA members stand in solidarity with our dedicated sisters and brothers of United Teachers Los Angeles and are encouraged to join the picket line at our adopted school, Hollywood High.”
The union encouraged members to “wear your SAG-AFTRA T-shirt or something red (#Red4Ed),” adding that shirts could be picked up at SAG-AFTRA headquarters.
Actors including Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis, Escape at Dannemora star Patricia Arquette, and The Big Sick writer-actor Kumail Nanjiani have all voiced support for striking teachers on social media.
Standing in support and solidarity with Emily Reyes, another local Los Angelina and proud member of @laschools on strike for a modest wage increase but more importantly, SMALLER CLASS SIZE! Honk in support! pic.twitter.com/bgfstQM55y
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) January 14, 2019
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) January 15, 2019
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) January 15, 2019
Teachers, counselors and other school employees walked off the job on Monday, Jan. 14, after months of failed negotiations with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Thousands of educators marched from City Hall up the road to school district headquarters Monday in pouring rain.
It’s the first time in 30 years teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district have gone on strike.
— United Teachers Los Angeles (@UTLAnow) January 15, 2019
At issue are overcrowded classrooms, lack of school counselors, librarians and nurses, as well as inadequate technology and pay increases.
LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner has said the district is willing to offer a six percent pay raise, but he warned the district doesn’t have the money to meet all of the union’s demands.
“We made our last proposal to UTLA on Friday which was rejected. They walked away from bargaining,” Beutner said, according to The Associated Press.
The district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers who walked off the job.
Beutner told reporters that breakfast and lunch were served to students who went to classes Monday, adding that “students are safe and learning.”