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Oakland Teachers to Strike on May 4 if Agreement With District Isn't Reached

Oakland educators announced Monday that they will go on strike on Thursday if they cannot reach an agreement with the district over contracts.

Union reps say they are frustrated after being without a contract since November and feel like negotiations have made little to no progress.

Last week, the teachers union voted to go on an “unfair labor practice strike” if the district did not meet their needs and stalled negotiations.

“On May 4, if we do not have an agreement with the district, we are going to strike over their unfair labor practice,” said Oakland Education Association Interim President Ismael “Ish” Armendariz. “This means that over 3,000 educators will be on the picket lines.”

Negotiations took a bad turn Sunday when the union claims the district showed up late, and unprepared. 

Educators are calling for a 22% pay raise. The union says the district offered a tentative 10% raise proposal including a one-time $5,000 payment.   

But teachers are also asking for upgrades to their facility, including repairs at schools like Success Academy High School to address a rat infestation, repairing ceilings and leaky bathrooms.  

In a recorded statement last week, Oakland Unified superintendent, Kyla Johnson-Trammell, said it would be inappropriate to strike while the district is still negotiating in good faith.

Oakland Unified sent the following statement following the announcement:

“OUSD is disappointed to hear that OEA has elected to announce that their members may go on strike starting this Thursday, May 4. We are pleased to hear that OEA will continue to negotiate with us at the bargaining table. We look forward to reaching an agreement that benefits our students, educators, and District. We appreciate the hard work of both negotiating teams as they have worked nearly non-stop to come to a resolution. Our team has remained at the bargaining table daily since Thursday and is committed to continuing to work in good faith toward a contract that works for both sides. We remain optimistic that we will collectively come to a resolution in time to prevent the teachers from hitting the picket lines, and keeping our kids in school.”

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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