Oakland teachers’ strike to enter fourth day with no deal in sight

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — Oakland teachers are preparing to strike for a fourth day — with no foreseeable end in sight. 

Roughly 3,000 teachers and 1,000 supporters showed up in solidarity at Oakland City Hall Monday for a third day of striking, supporting educators’ demand for a 12 percent raise. 

The strike began Thursday after years of failed negotiations between the teacher’s union and the Oakland Unified School District.

This is the first multi-day strike in the school district since a more than two month-long strike in 1996. 

Leading up to the current strike, the school district offered Oakland teachers a 5 percent raise, but later countered with a 8.5 percent raise. That offer was struck down by the teacher’s union shortly before the strike began.

The union president, Keith Brown, said the 8.5 percent raise still doesn’t provide a livable wage for teachers residing in Oakland. 

On Sunday, the district said they agreed that Oakland teachers are undervalued and deserve more pay — but that the union’s proposal for 12 percent was not financially sound for the district, sticking with its offer of 8.5 percent.

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond got involved in the contract talks today between the school district and union — saying the main priority is getting students and teachers back in the classroom.

The elected official said he hopes to get the strike resolved quickly.

In a statement Monday night, union president Brown reiterated the strike is about more than just salary.  

“Let me be clear, the union believes our students should have access to school nurses, counselors, school psychologists, librarians and other specialists. Class sizes are just too big and hinder the ability of our educators to give students the attention they deserve,” Brown said.

The union president also said he’s appreciative of the Thurmond’s involvement in the strike and his dedication to getting students and teachers back in their classrooms. 

The Oakland teacher’s strike is slated to enter its fourth day on Tuesday. 

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