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OEA Strike Authorization Vote Begins Today, Ends Friday as Showdown Looms
January 29, 2019 @ 8:00 am - February 1, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
All ballots must be submitted to OEA office by Friday 7pm !!!
Critical Week of Mobilization Ahead – OEA Union Holding 4 p.m. Community Outreach Meeting Over Potential Strike
OAKLAND – At all school sites in Oakland Unified School District, members of the Oakland Education Association begin voting today on whether to give their OEA union leaders the power to call a strike, if necessary, to protect students and the future of public education here. The voting will continue through Friday, Feb. 1, as other strike preparations continue.
Other critical events over the next seven days include a fact-finding hearing with a state-appointed neutral who will issue a non-binding report by mid-February to try and resolve the bargaining crisis. After the report is issued, teachers can legally strike. The fact-finding hearing will be held this Thursday and Friday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, at the CTA Regional Resource Center, 1211 Embarcadero, #204, Oakland, 94606.
Oakland educators will also hold a rally at the Oakland City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in support of final adoption of this city council resolution to support Oakland teachers.
And in preparation for a potential strike, OEA has secured a hall as a strike auxiliary site at the Fellowship Hall at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, 1188 12th St., Oakland, 94607. Picket captain training and other planning would take place there. The main strike headquarters would be the OEA offices at 272 East 12th Street, Oakland, 94606.
“Our demands are about a vision for building the public school system that Oakland families deserve,” said OEA President Keith Brown. “Oakland educators are fighting to end the teacher retention crisis and to secure the student resources needed to provide a great education for all of our students.”
Low pay has sparked a teacher retention crisis — making it hard for the district to recruit and retain educators. With Oakland teachers among the lowest paid in Alameda County, the union is demanding a 12 percent raise over three years, while the district is offering five percent. OEA is also demanding smaller class sizes, and more support for the district’s 37,000 students, including the hiring of more school counselors and nurses. The student-to-counselor ratio is an intolerable 600:1, while the student-to-nurse ratio is too high at 1,350:1.
Oakland educators have been working without a contract since July 2017, and seven state mediation sessions were fruitless. They are part of a wave of teacher protests that include the recent successful six-day strike by members of United Teachers Los Angeles in Los Angeles Unified, and in several other states, that are part of the #RedForEd movement.
The Oakland union is also rejecting suggestions by the district that it must close up to 24 schools over five years to pay teachers adequately. The first to be shuttered by June will be Roots International Academy, the school board decided Monday night, ignoring pleas by Roots teachers, parents and students to keep the school open. Watch media coverage about the Roots fight here and here.
—WHAT: Strike authorization vote at all school sites and community meeting about a possible strike. The four-day strike vote is to give OEA union leaders the power to call a strike, if necessary.
—WHEN and WHERE: The four-day strike authorization vote starts today, Tuesday, Jan. 29, and goes through Friday, Feb. 1. The OEA community meeting and information session about the potential strike is 4-6 p.m. today, Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the East Side Arts Alliance, 2277 International Blvd., Oakland, 94606.