December 10, 2018
With a Possible School Strike Looming, Oakland
Educators to Protest for Fair Contract Tuesday
After School at Five Locations
OAKLAND – Hundreds of Oakland Unified School District educators will protest for a fair contract after school Tuesday, Dec. 11, as the Oakland Education Association (OEA) escalates its fight for fair salaries to halt teacher turnover – and for smaller class sizes and more resources for the district’s 37,000 students.
After seven fruitless mediation sessions and working a year and a half without a contract for wages that are among the lowest for any Alameda County school district, Oakland educators are fed up and are discussing a possible strike option for early next year, said OEA President Keith Brown. “Teachers are fed up with the poor working conditions and salaries, and with the learning conditions that our students are having to endure,” Brown said. “We are fighting to end Oakland’s teacher turnover crisis and to bring stability for our students. We demand a living wage, lower class sizes, and increased student support.”
OEA has also launched a petition drive to alert the school board president about one teacher and union activist who has fought for smaller class sizes and received an unfair performance evaluation from a principal who cited her district-approved union release time. The teacher is chair of the OEA member engagement committee and co-chair of the union’s organizing team.
Some classrooms hold 36 students at a time, and there is only one academic counselor for every 600 students, and only 21 school nurses for the entire district, OEA is noting. The district refuses to make adequate salary or class size proposals. OEA is demanding a 12 percent raise over three years. The union expects to take the final step next month in the bargaining process before it can legally strike – a fact-finding hearing by a state-appointed person that will be held around mid-January.
WHAT and WHERE: An OEA “Hour of Power” protest by Oakland educators, students and community supporters at five public locations in Oakland:
WHEN: 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11.
VISUALS: In addition to chants and protest signs, many Oakland teachers will wear red in solidarity with members of the United Teachers Los Angeles union who have authorized a strike, if necessary, in Los Angeles Unified School District.
The Oakland Education Association represents 3,000 OUSD educators, including teachers, librarians, counselors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatric social workers, therapists, substitutes, early childhood and adult teachers. OEA is affiliated with the 325,000-member California Teachers Association and the 3 million-member National Education Association.