Bay Area

Oakland teachers preparing for strike, citing low wages, underfunded classrooms

OAKLAND (KRON) -- In what's being called a "sick out," teachers and staff from Skyline High School say they will stage a one-day strike on Friday.

Donna Salonga is a teacher at Skyline, she says the staff is protesting what they believe are low wages and underfunded classrooms.

“The pay that teachers are receiving is not to living wages,” Salonga said. “Especially here in the Bay Area. Oakland Unified is the lowest paid district in the county. Also, it's for funding for education.”

The strike, if it happens, would not be supported by the Oakland Education Association, which normally negotiates union contracts with the school district.

On Tuesday, Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said the district is opposed to a one-day strike.

"We urge them not to engage in this illegal labor action which is not sanctioned by their union,” the superintendent said.

The superintendent did acknowledged the teacher's concerns saying, "We want our teachers to know that everyone on the Board of Education and in District leadership firmly believe that they deserve to be paid more than they currently are. We are hopeful that our teachers will remain in class supporting students on Friday."

The district also says that if there is a strike on Friday, classes at the impacted schools will be held as planned.

Salonga says that in addition to staff from Skyline High, they also expecting teachers from other schools including Oakland High, West Oakland Middle School and Fremont High to join the one day strike.

The plan for is to rally outside Oakland Technical High School on Friday morning and the march to the school district offices for a second rally. Salonga says she hopes this one day of action will be enough.

“I don't think anyone wants to go on a strike, but we will,” Salonga said. “It's for our students.”

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