OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — On Friday, Oakland teachers got back on the picket line. No deal was reached with the Oakland School District Thursday. Now, the state superintendent is getting involved.
The strike comes after days of consistent negotiations between the Oakland School District and thousands of its teachers. It’s now Day Two of the strike and more than 30,000 school kids are without teachers as we head into the weekend.
Negotiations have been happening since last November with 3,000 members of Oakland Education Association seeking better pay, more services for students with disabilities, additional mental health services for students and smaller classrooms.
The Oakland School District says it can only do so much, adding that it has offered a historic pay raise, which totaled to more than $69 million ultimately giving most teachers up to a 22 percent pay raise and a $5,000 bonus.
So what’s the hold up? Well, teachers want other issued resolved. The district says the group brings up good issues but ones that it can’t resolve alone like getting transportation for all students and ending student homelessness.
The state superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond will be mediating between both sides just as he did during the 2019 teacher strike.
The Oakland School District put out a statement saying, “We appreciate state superintendent Thurmond’s offer to formally mediate, and we stand ready to go back to the table at any time to work out a deal that will properly serve and honor our teachers, nurses, psychologists, counselors and other OEA members.”
A teacher with Skyline High School told KRON4 that the school district has not come to the table with solutions to their other problems.
“So, they didn’t come to the table. They’re using social media as a platform to give half proposals and that’s not the way to bargain,” Alyssa S. told KRON4. “I can see where they’re coming from when the say unhoused students are a bigger picture, and at the same time, these are our students. They deserve to be supported no matter what they need.”
“One of the biggest holdups we found out last night is the fact that the school board has not given the District full authority to actually bargain. So, what have we been doing for seven months? It doesn’t make any sense,” she added.
The 2019 teachers strike lasted or a total of seven days. How long will this one last? Only time will tell.