#Red4Ed: Bay Area teachers hold 'walk ins,' rallies in solidarity with teachers in LA

- Some Bay Area teachers are standing in solidarity with Southern California teachers who plan to go on strike Monday.

Walk-ins and rallies are expected at two Berkeley schools Friday morning, where teachers are expected to hold their walk in before school starts at 7:45 a.m. On Saturday, the East Bay Coalition for Public Education is planning a noon rally at City Hall.

Other teachers across California, including Oakland, Alameda, Dublin, Alamo, Fremont, Crockett, Richmond, Santa Rosa, San Jose and Sacramento plan to hold walk-ins and wear red, using the hashtag #RedforEd.

The teachers calling it a "Day of Action" to show teachers in Los Angeles that they’re not alone in their fight for better wages and smaller class sizes. Some of their other more specific demands: More nurses, librarians, counselors and psychologists, safer schools, stronger regulation for charter schools, and attracting and retaining qualified teachers for California students

The union representing teachers in Los Angeles - the nation's second-largest school district - said that its 35,000 members will walk off the job for the first time in 30 years if a deal wasn't reached on higher pay and smaller class sizes.

Teachers across California are hoping to build on the "Red4Ed" movement that began last year in West Virginia, where a strike resulted in a significant raise.

It moved to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado and Washington state, spreading from conservative states with "right to work" laws that limit the ability to strike to the more liberal West Coast with strong unions.

"What you're seeing with unions is real enthusiasm and a belief that you can actually be successful," said Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois. "The educational sector is rife with deep grievance and frustration, but there's now a sense that you can actually win."

The walkouts in other states emboldened organized labor after a critical defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled last year that government workers can't be required to join unions and pay dues.

"Each state is different, but the commonality across all states is teachers, and parents are sick of schools not being invested in," union President Alex Caputo-Pearl said.

The Los Angeles district has offered a 6 percent raise over the first two years of a three-year contract. The union wants a 6.5 percent hike that would take effect all at once and be retroactive to fiscal 2017. Health care fully paid by the district and a pension plan would be unchanged under both proposals.

The district has said the union's demands could bankrupt the school system, which is projecting a half-billion-dollar deficit this budget year and has billions obligated for pension payments and health coverage for retired teachers.

Negotiations were continuing, but little progress was evident in the contract dispute.

Superintendent Austin Beutner traveled Wednesday to Sacramento to ask state lawmakers for additional resources for Los Angeles schools in hopes of averting a walkout.

Unlike other states, schools in California stay open if a strike happens. The Los Angeles district has hired hundreds of substitutes to replace teachers and others who leave for picket lines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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