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Busy Philipps just made a powerful statement in solidarity with the LA teacher’s strike

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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She wore red, the colour of the strike, on her talk show as a show of her support.

Some 32,000 teachers are currently on strike in the torrential Los Angeles rain, calling for better pay, better funding and better working conditions.

The strike only began on Monday 14 January but has already caused widespread disruption in Los Angeles, which counts itself as the second most school-dense area in the US. The teachers strike, which is the first in the city in 30 years, is estimated to have cost the district around $35 million (£27 million) thus far. 

The strike date was set in December after negotiations on a 6.5% pay rise for teachers stalled. The union is also advocating for smaller class sizes, more nurses and counselors in high schools, and better funding. 

Teachers on strike in Los Angeles this week

This is not the first time that teachers have been forced to strike in order to have their voices heard. More than 50,000 teachers walked out of schools in Phoenix, Arizona in April 2018 over similar concerns of funding cuts and pay increases. After a week of striking that included rallies in Washington D.C, the Arizona Government conceded, offering a 20% pay rises for teachers by 2020 and an increase in salaries for support staff.

Busy Philipps is one of the biggest supporters of the Los Angeles teacher’s strike, speaking out about it both on her social media channels and on her talk show Busy Tonight.

Clad in red trousers - the colour of the teacher’s strike - and bright red lipstick, Philipps used her talk show platform to voice her support of the educators on the picket line. “I’m wearing red, because I’m supporting the LAUSD teachers on the first day of their strike,” Philipps said. “Because I’m a union b*tch!” 

On her Twitter, Philipps added: “On Monday in LA, our teachers in the LAUSD will be going on strike. I stand with the teachers, who are not only asking for raises but also more money for student services like nurses, librarians and reduced class sizes.” 

She has also been retweeting posts from groups providing support for the strike, including a network of parents offering childcare, food, drinks and rain cover for striking teachers. 

Philipps’ comments perfectly sum up what the Los Angeles’ teachers union - and other teachers’ groups around the country - are standing for. 

It’s not just a question of increased wages but about improving the standard of schools and investing in the education of the next generation of children. According to teachers on the picket line, class sizes can be anywhere from 45 to 60, which means there aren’t enough desks for all the students, and the number of on-site nurses and counselors equipped to handle mental health concerns is dangerously low. 

“The public knows that it is unacceptable to not have full-time nurses,” United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl said to the striking crowds on Wednesday. 

“It is unacceptable to have class sizes of 47. It is unacceptable to have teachers come in and then leave because the conditions are too hard and the pay isn’t enough… We want educational justice in Los Angeles,” he added.

The strike continues today. 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer, podcaster and recent Australian transplant in London. You can find her on the internet talking about pop culture, food and travel.

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