‘We feel disrespected’: Oakland teachers strike continues with rally

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OAKLAND (KRON) — Supported by students who refuse to attend class this week during the strike — Oakland Unified School District teachers are holding firm that they will continue to hold out until the terms they’ve laid out are met in negotiations with the district.

Among them — better pay.

“I definitely saw the injustices that were happening when I was a student, and then they’re still happening today. That’s why I’m fighting for my students as a teacher,” said Oakland teacher Janet Vasquez.

The crowd at Defremery Park in Oakland exceeded 1,000.

Striking teachers saying they feel unappreciated and, that that’s been the case for far too long.

“We’re not going to accept school closures, we’re not going to accept anything short of a living wage, we’re not going to accept increased class sizes,” said teacher Mathew Hays.

School psychologists also sticking together.

Many of them also on strike — saying they’re being stretched too thin.

“We feel disrespected, we feel burned out. We feel under represented,” said school psychologist Robby Kendall. Teachers say their preference is to be back at work, leading classrooms.

But, right now, they say the best thing they can do for themselves and for their students is to continue to vocalize and demonstrate their frustrations and, to stay united in their ultimate goal.

“We’re going to strike until what all of our students deserve, and hopefully, it doesn’t last long,” said teacher Jhunehl Fortaleza. “I really hope that we could get back to work, because I want to teach. That’s really what we’re here for — I just want to teach.”

The police department monitored the rally — which remained peaceful.

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