Oakland principal concerned after AC transit drivers decide to not cross picket lines

ByJobina Fortson KGO logo
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Principle concerned about strike impact after AC transit drivers decide to not cross picket lines
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Roughly 500 students will not have transportation to an Oakland school because AC transit drivers have decided not to cross the picket lines.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Montera Middle School Principal Darren Avent supports teachers but is worried about the impact of their looming strike.

"With AC transit being a union organization, their drivers have decided not to cross the picket line," Avent said. "Two-thirds of our students take AC transit to arrive here at Montera."

RELATED: Oakland teacher's message to students: "I am striking for them"

Avent told ABC7 News AC transit canceled eight buses. Roughly 500 students will not have transportation.

"It is disappointing yes," Avent said.

Schools will be open and on an adjusted schedule. Temporary teachers hired by the district will be paid $300 a day.

Emergency teachers will be able to work outside of their credentialed area under a waiver. The Oakland Education Association has also organized designated safe spaces for students.

OAKLAND TEACHER STRIKE: Resources for parents here

ABC7 News found a group more than ready for the strike at Berkeley City College. The group was passing out signs and collecting money for Bread for Ed, an initiative to help food insecure students.

"The majority of our students in Oakland are on free and reduced lunch so they're going to need our support," Valarie Bachelor of the California Federation for Teachers said.

"I feel like we're finally getting to the point where people are getting to understand the nature of our struggles," Pau Antony-Levine, an Oakland teacher said.

Teachers' top demands include a 12 percent raise over the next three years, smaller class sizes, and stopping the growth of charter schools in the district.

BUILDING A BETTER BAY AREA: Keeping teachers in the Bay Area

"These are the picket signs we are going to be using," Jeremy Wolff, an Oakland teacher said as he gave ABC7 News a tour through the Oakland Education Association's basement.

At one time, it was almost stuffed with the picket signs teachers and union representatives spent weeks making. Now, they're almost gone.

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