United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA), the second largest teachers union in the U.S., is engaged in a strike against Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Over 640,000 children are affected by the strike of a union with 30,000 members. The union was engaged in fruitless negotiations with LAUSD, and members voted for a strike that began on January 14. On the first day of the strike, the union held a massive demonstration that showed widespread public support.

Though the media consistently said the contract fight was about wages, the union has put forward as its members' most important demands alterations in working conditions that are adversely affecting students, like the loss of counselors and nurses in its schools. The union is also demanding a halt to the expansion of charter schools. LAUSD has announced it will adopt the "portfolio model," which fragments the school system in networks, often run by for-profit "charter management organizations."

As of this writing UTLA has announced that negotiations will resume, with the Mayor of Los Angeles mediating between the two sides.  The strike has galvanized support from teachers throughout the U.S., who have been wearing "Red for Ed" shirts to school to show their support.