RELEASE: ABC Unified School District Employees Set to Picket June 1

Contact: Tony Bellardo
President, AFSCME Local 2229
(562) 215-8546

ABC Unified School District Employees Set to Picket June 1

LOS ANGELES, CA – Employees of ABC Unified School District are holding an informational picket and rally in response to their employer denying them a substantial bonus, stating that bonuses were given to the employees most important to the school district.

The more than 200 employees represented by the American Federation of State, Counties, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2229 began negotiating a new contract in February 2021, six months after their contract expired. When discussions began about a bonus, the School District initially offered them nothing. “Initially, the maintenance and food service workers were going to get nothing, but after advertising our situation, the District offered us a $300 bonus,” said Judi Dixon, the lead manager for food services at Cerritos High School.

The ABC School District recently received a $6.2M grant of which $3.2M was allocated to the District’s teachers. Last month, the School Board voted in favor of each teacher receiving a $4,000 bonus. The maintenance and food service workers of AFSCME Local 2229 are asking for their fair share of the grant money after working throughout the entire pandemic and constantly being exposed to the COVID-19 virus. “The Board seems to think it has no responsibility to ensure all employees are treated equitably and that AFSCME, having had to risk exposure unlike other unions, should not be compensated with ‘heroes pay’ like other essential workers,” says Joan Heithoff, Business Representative for AFSCME Local 2229. “We are happy that the teachers have received a $400 a week bonus. All we ask is that our members receive similar recognition.”

Members will continue to try and negotiate in good faith despite the School District’s attempt to downplay the importance of AFSCME Local 2229 members. The picket is being held on June 1, 2021 from 5PM-6PM at the ABC Unified School District office, located at 16600 Norwalk Blvd., Cerritos, CA 90703. This is an informational picket, not a strike. Members will be working their regular shifts and attending the picket during their personal time.

About AFSMCE District Council 36
AFSCME District Council 36 serves more than 60 Local Unions across Southern California. Its more than 24,000 members perform a diverse array of roles in local government, legal aid, and nonprofit social service organizations. District Council 36 has continued to be a force in the labor movement by advocating for workers’ rights and freedoms. An affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) International Union, District Council 36 was chartered in 1969.