Oakland teachers, parents gearing up for strike

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A planned teacher strike in Oakland is set to begin on Thursday.

Teachers are asking for a raise. Right now, Oakland School District salaries range from about $46,000 to $84,000 per year. Experienced teachers earn around $64,000.




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With housing costs, there isn't much left over.

According to Zillow, the median rent in Oakland is $3,000 a month -- or $38,000 a year. That's more than 80 percent of a starting teacher's salary.



The strike is set to start on Thursday. Students at Oakland Tech have been very supportive of teachers during this contract negotiation, but district officials want students to know that schools will be open and they should come to class.

The teacher's union says the district still hasn't brought them a proposal that meets their salary demands or shrinks class sizes like they have asked -- so they are going to strike.

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Bettie Deshay has asked her granddaughter's teacher for the assignments her granddaughter can work on at home while the teachers strike.

"The teachers have to do five or six jobs alone without support. So we will be walking the picket line with them and she will not attend until the teachers come back," said Deshay.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says the city is also working on providing options for parents.

"I'm hopeful this can remain a one-day strike. Again, I think the teachers will see just how much this community is behind them. The students, parents, of course the city of Oakland has worked with the teachers union to make spaces available at 15 rec centers so families have safe supportive places to send their kids on Thursday without crossing picket lines," said the Mayor. She went on to say: "As the mayor, I will certainly begin to assert myself into this conflict if it lasts more than one day."

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Schools will hire substitute teachers to replace the teachers on strike. They will also move employees from the district office into the schools.

A district spokesperson says he is still hopeful the two sides will sit down at the negotiating table and work something out before Thursday.

The mayor says she will be surprised if Thursday's strike day can be avoided.

Teachers have organized a strike solidarity meeting for parents Tuesday from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. at Center of Hope Church -- located at 84th and MacArthur.

The City of Oakland has said it will provide safe spaces at 15 recreation centers and all public libraries to support Oakland families affected by the strike.

The Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development Department will open the Allendale, Arroyo Viejo, Brookdale, Bushrod, Carmen Flores, DeFremery, Dimond, Ira Jenkins, FM Smith, Franklin, Golden Gate, Manzanita, Montclair, San Antonio, Redwood Heights, and Mosswood facilities from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers will help facilitate the days for students and provide food.

The Oakland School District has put together information about the impending strike and resources for parents and students. You can find it in several languages here:

Arabic
Cambodian
Chinese
English
Spanish

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the Oakland teacher strike.
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