Hopes remain high Oakland Unified will reach deal with teacher's union over weekend

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Hopes remain high OUSD will reach deal with teachers over weekend
Oakland teachers remained on the picket lines Friday, keeping their hopes for a resolution with OUSD with just two weeks left of school.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As Oakland teachers gather for a seventh day on the picket lines, the Oakland Education Association says progress has been made.

"There are many places where we've come to agreement, we still have a little bit of work to do, but at this moment in time, we are feeling hopeful," Carrie Anderson, an OUSD second grade teacher said.

Carrie Anderson, a second grade teacher who serves on the executive board of OEA, says it's important to know that their common good goals are one of 20 proposals, and she says it's not what's holding things up right now.

"Having enough teachers in classrooms, keeping teachers in classrooms year after year that includes having counselors, speech pathologists, nurses - so a lot of it is around that financial piece around staffing," she said.

MORE: How similar is the Oakland teachers strike to others in Chicago and Los Angeles?

Meanwhile, Sam Davis from the Oakland Unified School Board, is calling for an end to the strike and says there are other ways to negotiate, outside of a labor agreement.

"I just wish that they would end the strike and allow the last points to get figured out by adults without impacting kids," Davis said.

He thinks the $1 billion evaluation which the district said the union's common good demands would cost comes from the facilities side of things, a committee which he sits on.

"That really speaks to our schools that are run down, we need to invest in repairs, there isn't an easy source of money for that - we have a facilities bond that we're making repairs as fast as we can," he said.

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This, while parents like Tomas Bayou say it's not fair to have discussions on things like reparations for Black students - one of the union's common good goals - without community input.

"If we are talking about racial issues, we need to bring the African American community into the discussion and ask, 'what do we need?' This is assumed need in the name of the Black community," Bayou said.

And aside from the union's single day strike last year over school closures, their previous strike back in 2019 also lasted seven days.

Teachers on the picket lines Friday, keeping their hopes for a resolution, with just two weeks to go until the last day of school.

"We're hoping there's a turning point this weekend, that there's a turning point and I'll be back with my babies on Monday morning," Monica Del Rio, an OUSD teacher said.

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