Oakland teachers to vote on authorizing strike after 6 months of contract negotiations

Amanda del Castillo Image
Monday, April 17, 2023
OUSD teachers vote on authorizing strike after months of negotiations
OUSD teachers are set to vote on whether to authorize a strike, one month after an unauthorized "Wildcat Strike," which brought out teachers to three different sites.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- 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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