Picket lines remained lively at more than 80 schools across Oakland as more than 3,000 educators and Oakland Education Association (OEA) members were on strike for a third day for the schools and resources their students deserve.
Efforts continue to end Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) management’s crisis of inaction, and bargain over “Common Good” issues, like safe schools, support for students who are unhoused, and shared decision-making at community schools. In addition to the dire need to provide educators a livable wage, these “Common Good” issues are necessary to support student needs and help them survive, learn and thrive.
“I’m out here because of my students,” said Beverly Castillo, third grade teacher and OEA member. The district is not taking our Common Good proposals seriously. And they are essential for our students, who need that support.”
OEA is demanding that OUSD provide improved services for students with disabilities, additional mental health supports for students still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and invest in Historically Black Community Schools. Other issues include special education needs, class sizes, safety issues and equitable treatment for schools in low-income areas, along with additional support for students in those schools.
“This is a time for us to hold the district accountable,” said Evelyn Ramirez, newcomer teacher and OEA member.
During a press conference held by three members of the OUSD School Board, Director VanCedric Williams called on his colleagues on the board to support their students, educators and community.
“I call on the other board members to do the right thing and support OUSD in negotiating common good bargaining and community schools,” Williams said. “Now is the time to reimagine and transform our public education system.
Following the morning picketing, educators and community rallied and marched. This morning, CTA President E. Toby Boyd visited picket lines with coffee in hand for striking educators.
An EdSource analysis shows that Oakland has among the lowest-paid mid-career teachers statewide. Of the state’s 22 largest school districts that filed teacher pay data with the state, Oakland ranks 20 in actual pay and 22 in pay adjusted for local cost of living.
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