School days to remain as normal as possible as Oakland teacher strike approaches, district says

Bay Area

OAKLAND (KRON) — We are just days away from an Oakland teacher strike — planned for Thursday. The teachers union is meeting now discussing strike preparations and what will happen to students during the strike.

Teachers are asking for enough money to be able to live where they teach, smaller class sizes and resources for students. If they don’t get what they say they deserve, they will strike on Thursday.

“We are willing to fight for whatever it takes,” said Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown.

Leaders of the Oakland Education Association say after two years of negotiations and seven failed state mediation sessions — Oakland Unified School district has still not yet met the demands educators say they need to provide a quality education to students.

“How can we feed our students mind when we starve our schools of the needed resources to give our students a quality education?” asked Brown.

The union says they are asking for smaller class sizes, resources for students and enough money to live in Oakland — demanding a 12-percent raise over three years while the district is offering just 5-percent.

“We hope that the teachers do not go on strike,” John Sasaki, spokesperson for the school district. “It is still a couple of days away. They are planning on Thursday, but we are hopeful we can come to an agreement before then.”

The school district says they are ready to sit down and talk to the union, but if it doesn’t happen and teachers do strike — students should still attend school.

“We are here for them,” Sasaki said. “Our schools will be open for them. That’s where they will be safe.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told reporters this morning that she cares deeply for the students, teachers and the education system.

“I continue to urge both sides to reach a contract,” said Schaff. “I know we have a work to do.”

The district says if the strike occurs, food will be available to students and while it might not feel like an ordinary school day — they hope to keep it as normal as possible.

Taylor Memorial Church is also opening its doors to students during the strike.

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