Oakland teachers rally ahead of City Council meeting

Through song and signs Oakland teachers, students and supporters crowded the steps outside of City Hall in solidarity, to fight for a living wage, smaller class sizes and more support for students.

“I see the resources going lower and lower and lower, class sizes are getting bigger, the counselors are less, students need so much more and there’s not enough support for them,” said Nathan Jackson, PE teacher at Urban Pride.

Nathan Jackson has been teaching for 18 years. He says he’s ready to strike and there are hundreds of others just like him who say it’s not about if they will strike, it’s when.

“We need to shut down the schools completely. The stronger the strike is, the more the students are on the picket lines fighting for their own demands, the shorter the strike will be,” said Mark Airgood, Secretary of Oakland Education Association. 

The teachers crowded city council chambers inside to spread their message, asking for the city’s support. Even the Oakland community is stepping up to help the teachers strike.

Taylor Memorial United Methodist church is pledging to open its church to 250 students, feeding them lunch and offering a curriculum if there is a strike.

“I’m prayerful that other pastors will join me with their churches, and that we become the undergirding of our teachers because they are torn they want to be there with their students and I really want to give them a sense of peace as they win this cause,” said Pastor Anthony Jenkins, Taylor Memorial United Methodist church.

The fact finding results will be released on February 15th. The teachers will decide thereafter, if they will strike. OUSD and the city of Oakland say they hope the teachers do not strike.