- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Teachers in Los Angeles are continuing their push for higher wages and smaller class sizes amid stalled contract negotiations with rallies and faculty meeting boycotts.

United Teachers Los Angeles urged teachers to boycott meetings Tuesday and instead gather outside schools and distribute information to parents.

It was not immediately known how many participated in the action.

UTLA declared an impasse with Los Angeles Unified School District in February. The teachers are asking for an 8.5 percent pay increase after eight years without a raise. They also want better teacher to student ratios and more support staff like nurses and psychologists.

UTLA and the district will have their first session with a mediator Thursday. Superintendent Ramon Cortines says the district is facing a $160 million deficit and cannot afford union demands.

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