(KRON) — The Oakland Education Association will go through with its strike starting Thursday, the Oakland Unified School District said. OUSD said the strike will happen “despite great progress in negotiations.”
“OUSD has failed to come to the table in good faith,” OEA said. “Educators will be on the picket line tomorrow, on strike for our students & for Oakland schools. Join us on the picket line. We will continue to negotiate in good faith & hope the district does the same.”
Schools will be open on Thursday, but teachers will not be in classrooms, per OUSD. The school district does not know how long the strike will last and says it will continue to bargain with teachers.
“The end of the school year is always filled with milestone events for our students, so we want to ensure regular school resumes as soon as possible,” OUSD said.
Officials with the OUSD have scheduled a news conference Thursday morning on the first day of the planned strike by the teachers’ union. In a news release issued at 12:43 a.m. Thursday, officials said they are holding the event “to discuss the strike, the impact it will have on Oakland’s young people, and the reasons behind it.
The leadership team will be led by Board of Education President Mike Hutchinson and Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell.”
The event is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. at the district office in suite 150, 1000 Broadway in Oakland.
While schools will be open, OUSD warned that it will not be a typical school day. Central office staff will be at schools to ensure safety. Specific instruction will be provided by schools and principals.
Students and families are told to expect picket lines at schools on Thursday. About 3,000 teachers are expected to participate.
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OUSD put together this document for information about the strike in several languages.
The OEA has expressed frustration with negotiations, saying they have been “marked by management’s continual meeting cancelations, non-serious offers and the presence of district negotiators lacking authority to make decisions.”
Oakland teachers receive the lowest pay of any in the Bay Area, according to OEA, and they have been working without a contract since November. 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.
Officials for the district, which serves more than 34,000 students, said they couldn’t predict how long the strike would last but that they would continue to negotiate with the teachers union. Representatives couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The district announcement included the following: “No one from OUSD will be available for comment prior to the press conference.”
The district announced the strike about 9 p.m. Wednesday, and it was confirmed within the hour by the Oakland Education Association on social media.
Bay City News contributed to this report.