Teachers  strike  in  California  impacts  36,000  students

Teachers strike in California impacts 36,000 students

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 13, 2019

Teachers in Oakland, California, went on strike Thursday, part of a nationwide wave of discontent by teachers over classroom conditions, pay and other problems. Current walkouts have actually taken location in West Virginia, Los Angeles and Denver.

The city’s 3,000 instructors desire a 12 percent retroactive raise covering 2017 to 2020 to compensate for what they state are the amongst the most affordable wages for public school instructors in the expensive San Francisco Bay Area. They also desire the district to hire more counselors to assistance trainees and more full-time nurses.

Kindergarten instructor Kaki Blackburn, 30, was among dozens picketing exterior Manzanita Community School with indications saying “On strike For a Living Wage.” Blackburn, who has 29 kids in her class, said her main issues were class size and earnings.

She said her wage makes it impossible to manage an apartment or condo on her own. “There’s no method I’d be able to live here without a roomie,” she said. “This is not what I went to Brown University to get a master’s for.”

The instructor union’s leader said the teachers were forced to strike for the first time in more than 20 years due to the fact that administrators did not listen to their needs for 2 years. “For 2 years we have been negotiating with the Oakland Unified School District to make our students a top priority over outside consultants and main workplace administrators,” said Oakland Education Association President Keith Brown.

The walkout impacts 36,000 trainees at 86 schools.

Oakland  Unified  School  District  students  and  teachers  carry  signs  as  they  picket  outside  of  Oakland  Technical  High  School  on  Feb.  21,  2019,  in  Oakland,  California.
Oakland Unified School District trainees and instructors carry indications as they picket outside of Oakland Technical High School on Feb. 21, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.


The district at first used a 5 percent raise covering 2017 to 2020, saying it is squeezed by rising costs and a budget crisis. In settlements Wednesday intended at avoiding a strike, the district increased its proposition to a 7 percent raise over 4 years and a one-time 1.5 percent reward.

The deal went higher than the recommendation of an independent fact-finding report that suggested a compromise 6 percent retroactive raise. But union authorities rejected the offer.

“That benefit is almost nothing,” Horizon High School teacher Jeff Rector informed CBS S an Francisco. “It doesn’t follow me forward, and it’s not enough cash to make a difference right now. That 7 percent raise is still hardly enough to cover inflation.”

Oakland Unified School District spokesman John Sasaki stated school administrators hope to get a counter proposition from the union when negotiations resume Friday. “We sanctuary’t heard any proposition since last Might so we’re hoping they have something for us when we fulfill tomorrow,” Sasaki stated.

The district stated schools would stay open, staffed by non-union staff members and replacement instructors. Nevertheless, moms and dads need to not expect teaching as usual, it said. Manzanita Principal Eyana Spencer stated 14 of the school’s 450 students turned up for school Thursday and were put in one class to play video games.

Teachers have been working without a contract since 2017 and have said their incomes have not kept up with the expense of living. A beginning income in the district is $46,500 a year and the average salary is $63,000, according to the union. Almost 600 instructors left their jobs at Oakland public schools last year, according to the union, which has said the district can not maintain instructors or bring in skilled new instructors.

The union has called for the district to scrap plans to close as numerous as 24 schools that serve mainly African-American and Latino students. The union worries additional students will be lost to charter schools that drain more than $57 million a year from the district.

Recent strikes throughout the nation have actually constructed on a wave of teacher activism that started last spring. Unions for West Virginia instructors, who staged a nine-day walkout last year, ended another two-day strike Wednesday.

Last week, instructors in Denver ended a three-day walkout after reaching a tentative deal raising their wages. Teachers in Los Angeles, the country’s second-largest school district, staged a six-day strike last month that ended when they settled on a 6 percent raise with assures of smaller class sizes and the addition of nurses and therapists.