Over the weekend, service workers reached a labor deal with the Los Angeles Unified School District after a three-day strike in March over wages and staffing.
The Local 99 chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said the new agreement "will begin to lift essential workers out of poverty and lead to improved staffing for student services."
Under the new terms, workers who are paid an average of $25,000 a year will see their wages increase by 30%. Employees who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic would also receive a $1,000 bonus and family health care benefits will also be expanded.
Thousands of workers backed by teachers went on strike last month and rallied outside the school district's headquarters in downtown Los Angeles amid stalled contract talks.
The goal was to demand better pay and increased staffing for the bus drivers, cafeteria workers, teachers' aides and other employees represented by the union.
The SEIU said many district support staffers live in poverty because of low pay or limited work hours while struggling with inflation and the high cost of housing in Los Angeles County.
"This contract recognizes the essential work of those who work hard to ensure students can learn in a clean, safe, and supportive environment," said Max Arias, Executive Director of SEIU Local 99. "It is a major step forward with significant improvements to wages, work hours, and benefits for dedicated education workers who have been left behind for far too long."
The contract still needs to be approved by the school district's Board of Education. The school district said the board could take it up for a vote at a meeting on April 18.
The school district — the second largest in the nation — serves more than half a million students in the area.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.