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Oakland teachers to strike if no deal is reached by Thursday

3 mins read

The Oakland teachers’ union has announced its plan to strike if it does not reach a deal with the school district by May 4. 

“After a weekend of marathon bargaining, it is clear that OUSD still isn’t ready to get serious about reaching an agreement that will keep educators in Oakland and meet the needs of our students with increased mental health supports improved services for students with disabilities, investment in Historically Black Community Schools, and more. We can not allow this crisis to continue into a new school year.” the Oakland Education Association said.

The OEA told the press that the strike was because no progress had been made in the negotiations between the union and the Oakland Unified School District. 

Oakland teachers have been working without a contract since November. Over the weekend, representatives have been negotiating with the district. 

Oakland teachers are among the lowest paid in the Bay Area. 

“OUSD has repeatedly canceled bargaining sessions, has failed to offer meaningful proposals or counter-proposals at a majority of our bargaining sessions, and has repeatedly failed to discuss certain items. This is illegal and OEA has filed an unfair labor practice,” said OEA Interim President Ismael Armendariz.

The teachers demand a livable wage, improved services for students with disabilities, additional mental health support for students recovering from the COVID pandemic, and investment in Historically Black Community Schools.

Parents have opposed the strike with only a few weeks left in the school year. However, the union said ensuring teachers get paid what they’re worth is necessary. 

OUSD sent the following statement as a response:

“OUSD is disappointed to hear that OEA has elected to announce that their members may go on strike starting this Thursday, May 4. We are pleased to hear that OEA will continue to negotiate with us at the bargaining table. We look forward to reaching an agreement that benefits our students, educators, and District. We appreciate the hard work of both negotiating teams as they have worked nearly non-stop to come to a resolution. Our team has remained at the bargaining table daily since Thursday and is committed to continuing to work in good faith toward a contract that works for both sides. We remain optimistic that we will collectively come to a resolution in time to prevent the teachers from hitting the picket lines, and keeping our kids in school.”

Charlene

Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.

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