Oakland school teachers prepared to strike
Oakland, California - The Oakland Unified School District may be facing another teacher strike in the near future, with the District and the union appearing to be far apart on many issues, including money.
On the Oakland Education's Association's Facebook page, the union drew a line in the sand over "unfair labor practices" allegedly conducted by OUSD.
"Today, the OEA Executive Board voted to give me the power to authorize a strike vote starting Monday. I'm calling on every single OEA member to vote in our ULP strike vote," said Oakland Education Association’s Ismael Armendariz.
The union says that OUSD has negotiated in bad faith with continual meeting cancelations and non-serious counter-proposals. "Our intention is to settle a contract," Mr. Armendariz said.
The core of the union's complaints is the lack of a livable wage, which impacts teachers' ability to give students education that leads to their success. The union says additional issues include OUSD's failure to deal with special education, teacher safety, as well as Community Schools and Common Good proposals.
In vast contrast, the school district's latest website post says, "More Positive Movement Towards a Significant Compensation Increase for OUSD Educators." The school district has confined all its comments to its website, Facebook and Instagram.
Armendariz claimed that OUSD has a history of being dishonest when it comes to interactions with the union. He also said that OUSD would be "fools" if they didn't take the strike threat seriously and that the union has the backing of over 1,500 parents who signed their petition in support of the union demands.
"We stand in support of Oakland teachers because we believe teachers are the core of our students' education, and they fight for students every day in the classroom," said parent Amaya Lin.
The figurative line in the sand is drawn, but if a strike is to happen the final vote will be next Monday after which a strike could begin.