Oakland teachers union votes to authorize strike

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Oakland teachers union votes to authorize strike
Oakland Unified School District teachers voted in favor of a strike, the union representing them announced Tuesday afternoon.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland Unified School District teachers voted in favor of a strike, the union representing them announced Tuesday afternoon.

Out of the members who participated, 88% voted "yes" to authorize a strike.

This does not mean teachers are going on strike right away, but it does give the union authority to call one.

The Oakland Unified School District says if there is a strike, it expects the earliest it could take place is next Monday, May 1.

The district has gone to a state board to try to stop the strike -- it contends testing for AP courses will be taking place at the time.

May 25 is the last day of school for the district.

This is a breaking update. Previous story follows.

Teachers in the Oakland Unified School District are set to vote on whether to authorize a strike after their union says it has been in negotiations with the district for about six months.

After about six months of contract negotiations, there's still no deal.

Within the six months of contract negotiations, the school board has approved a package of budget reductions for next school year - which are essentially designed to make room for teacher pay raises.

But representatives of the Union say increases in state funding should be enough to fairly compensate teachers.

VIDEO: Here's why Oakland teachers are going on unauthorized 'Wildcat' strike over contract negotiations

Teachers from at least 14 OUSD middle and high schools stopped work on Friday as the district has repeatedly canceled negotiation sessions.

Monday's vote comes almost a month after an unauthorized March 24th "Wildcat Strike," which brought out OUSD teachers to three different sites.

That walkout had not been authorized by the Oakland Education Association, but Monday's vote will establish whether a union-backed strike will happen.

In the March 24th strike, educators from at least 14 Oakland Unified middle and high schools took part.

Interim president of the OEA board Ismael Armendariz delivered a message, posted to the union's Facebook page, addressing OUSD on Friday.

RELATED: Oakland school board rejects proposed resolutions to cut budget, lay off staff

"They cancel session and have given unserious proposals," Armendariz said. "Unfortunately this behavior is continuing and we can't trust ousd to come with serious proposals to setting a contract."

He's urging OUSD teachers to vote yes, to allow him to authorize a strike.

Armendariz went on to explain OEA members deserve a livable wage and students deserve the services they need to be successful.

He claimed OUSD has not come to the table to bargain special education and alleged the district has brought no proposals around teachers' safety, further emphasizing claims of bad-faith bargaining by the district.

In a Facebook post, the district says it's committed to reaching an agreement this school year, acknowledging it can't do everything proposed though raises are a top priority.

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