The Los Angeles Unified School District’s annual budget deficit over the past four school years has averaged half a billion dollars – $508.5 million to be exact.
But LAUSD’s progressive leaders aren’t letting a chronic money shortage stop them from pursuing “social justice” for its support workers. According to DailyNews.com, the district has tentatively agreed to a “historic” labor contract that will raise the minimum wage of cafeteria workers, custodians and other service personnel to $15 an hour.
The deal “will lift nearly 20,000 LAUSD school workers and their families out of poverty,” boasts the Service Employees International Union, the labor group representing the school employees, in a press release.
CBS Los Angeles reports:
“In addition to the minimum wage increase for workers earning below $15 an hour, the agreement includes pay increases of over 6 percent for all others workers, restoration of special education work hours, and increased staffing hours, according to SEIU.”
“This historic agreement showcases how labor unions and school districts can work together for the good of our entire communities,” said SEIU official Courtni Pugh.
Who knew “social justice” could be so easy and so pain-free?
Actually, it’s not.
The feel-good $15-an-hour minimum wage rule will cause even more financial distress for the beleaguered district.
LAUSD officials filled their previous budget deficits by using one-time federal handouts, laying off teachers and non-instructional staff, and cutting student programs. Since the district hasn’t shown a resolve to keeping its expenses below its revenue, the $15-an-hour rule will likely blow a hole in the budget and make the half-billion dollar deficits of yesteryear look modest in comparison.
And that will likely result in Los Angeles students seeing their academic and extracurricular offerings scaled way back to pay the higher wages. It’s also possible that LAUSD leaders will be forced to lay off a bunch of service workers to pay the salaries of the lucky few who remain.
Of course, SEIU and the other unions could always pressure state lawmakers into raising taxes again, but even the most wild-eyed leftist has to understand that well will dry up if overused.
Any way it’s sliced, this $15-an-hour minimum wage hike is going to cause major problems for LAUSD families, taxpayers and employees.
The lesson here is two-fold: Not only is there no such thing as a free lunch, but one person’s “social justice” is another person’s “raw deal.”