UPDATED: ASHA Guidance to Members in the Los Angeles Unified School District Strike

January 14, 2019

Updated on Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Over 30,000 education professionals who work for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) participated in a historic strike to voice concerns about class sizes; understaffed schools, with a need for librarians, nurses, school counselors, and social workers; and higher salaries. One week after the strike began, negotiations between the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) union and LAUSD representatives resulted in an agreement, which UTLA classified as addressing “major issues impacting our schools, students, and professions.” ASHA supports members' advocacy efforts for equitable salaries, benefits, and resources; the outcome of the LAUSD strike clearly demonstrates the power of advocacy.

On Monday, January 14, 2019, teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) went on strike. The dispute centered around outreach for higher teacher pay, smaller class sizes, more specialists­ (e.g., school nurses, counselors), and concern about charter schools on public campuses. The district hired substitutes and maintains that schools will remain open. The teacher union represents over 35,000 teachers and staff, with 98% members of the United Teachers Los Angeles.

ASHA supports members' advocacy efforts for equitable salaries, benefits, and resources, and encourages members to be aware of possible implications a strike may have on their professional work. 

Since schools are not expected to close, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) may be concerned about students missing speech-language pathology sessions. If the walkout is prolonged and students miss sessions, SLPs should document attempts to provide continuity of service. Some examples of efforts to maintain continuity of service include sending homework packets or providing correspondence to parents as needed for questions regarding services. Please reference ASHA's resource on missed speech-language sessions in schools  for more information.

Advance communication is important. Audiologists and SLPs should be familiar with ASHA's Code of Ethics, specifically Principle I, Rule T, which states that, "Individuals shall provide reasonable notice and information about alternatives for obtaining care in the event that they can no longer provide professional services.” For your reference, ASHA's Issues in Ethics: Client Abandonment resource is available on our website.

In addition to referencing ASHA's Code of Ethics, audiologists and SLPs in California should be familiar with the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (CSHA) Code of Ethics [PDF].

Audiologists and SLPs may have concerns about the provision of services to students with disabilities, particularly related to free appropriate education (FAPE), evaluation, and individualized education program (IEP) timelines. Practitioners should check with their school district's office of special education or with the California Department of Education for specific guidance.

Additional ASHA Guidance on Walkouts or Strikes is available on ASHA’s website.


ASHA staff are ready and standing by to answer member’s questions. For policy related questions, please contact Eileen Crowe, ASHA’s director of state association relations, at ecrowe@asha.org or 301-296-5667. For practice related questions, contact Jaumeiko Coleman, ASHA’s director of school services, at jcoleman@asha.org or 301-296-8750.


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