Oakland teachers to vote on next move

May 3, 2010 5:46:52 PM PDT
In a few hours, Oakland teachers will vote on what to do next in their on-going contract negotiations with the school district and that could even be another strike.

The vote does not mean teachers will immediately go on strike, but it gives their union the green light to act on things up to and including a strike.

Teachers are expected to cast their ballots at Oakland Technical High School between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. today. The head of the Oakland Education Association, Betty Olson-Jones will address the membership first, in a closed-door meeting.

This afternoon's action follows a one-day strike by Oakland teachers last Thursday. The school board had imposed a contract after negotiations between the school district and the teachers' union failed.

"Oakland teachers are the lowest-paid in the East Bay and we want to secure a fair contract," said Olson-Jones.

Teachers are asking for a 15 percent pay raise and want the district to maintain class sizes small in grades kindergarten through third grade. The district says it faces $85 million in budget cuts and can't afford salary increases.

Both sides are expected to return to the bargaining table later this week.


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