(KRON) — Representatives with the Oakland Education Association representing Oakland teachers resumed talks with the Oakland Unified School District on Tuesday after announcing a strike if no deal is reached by Thursday. The teachers union voted last week to approve a strike, telling KRON4 that no progress had been made in negotiations with the union.

The OEA, which represents some 3,000 teachers and other educators, said that the past six months of negotiations have been “marked by management’s continual meeting cancelations, non-serious offers and the presence of district negotiators lacking authority to make decisions,” it said in a news release.

“This should have been settled long ago,” said special education teacher and OEA Interim President Ismael Armendariz. “Some people think the District saves money by stonewalling. Not only is this unfair labor practice and illegal, delaying bargaining is costly to the District and its students.”

Oakland teachers, who the OEA maintain are among the lowest paid in the Bay Area, have been working without a contract since November. Among other things, the teachers are demanding 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.

The teachers’ union cites other issues including special education needs, class size, safety issues and equitable treatment for schools in low-income areas as other issues they are bringing to the bargaining table.

The OEA has set a deadline of Thursday, May 4 for the district to strike a deal and avert a strike.

KRON4 reached out to the Oakland Unified School District and received the following statement in 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.”