Los Angeles teachers are about to end their first strike in 30 years after union leaders reached a tentative deal on Tuesday with the L.A. Unified School District. The deal must be officially approved by United Teachers Los Angeles through a member vote, but the Board of Education is expected to move quickly to ratify the deal. Union leaders have said they will not end the strike until their members ratify a contract, but also said they have a system in place that could allow members to vote within a matter of hours—meaning teachers could be back at work by Wednesday. Regardless, schools will be open on Tuesday, managed by skeleton staffs of administrators and employees who are not on strike, just as they were last week. More than two-thirds of students did not come to campuses during the first week of the strike. “Today is a day full of good news,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in announcing the agreement, which he said came after a “21-hour marathon that wrapped up just before sunrise.”
The union went into the strike demanding higher pay, smaller class sizes, and more nurses, counselors, and librarians in classrooms to “fully staff” schools. Whether the union made progress in that battle is open to question, as the deal has yet to be finalized. In its last offer before the strike, the district proposed class size reductions that fell short of the dramatic changes the union wanted and said it would provide a nurse five days a week in elementary schools and a full-time librarian for all middle and high schools. The union criticized the proposal because the district did not commit to keeping these positions longer than one year.