The  Oakland  teachers  strike  ends  with  tentative  deal  for  a  pay  raise

The Oakland teachers strike ends with tentative deal for a pay raise

By Anne Rowe for DPS board, March 22, 2019

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Striking teachers in Oakland, California, renowned after reaching a agreement deal Friday with school administrators to end a seven-day walkout.

To cheers and applause, union leaders from the Oakland Education Association announced that instructors had won whatever they demanded — higher pay, smaller sized classes and more school resources — in a week of marathon negotiating sessions with the district.

“This is a historical agreement with a win in every major proposition we made,” the Oakland Education Association stated in a declaration.

“We have actually attained so much in the 7 days of our historical strike in Oakland,” union President Keith Brown informed a news conference. “Our power in the streets dominated.”

The deal includes an 11 percent income boost and a one-time 3 percent bonus offer, as soon as the deal is validated, Brown said.

Teachers were anticipated to vote Saturday, and if the deal is authorized, return to class next week.

“On Monday, March 4, we appearance forward to everyone being together again in the classroom,” Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell stated in a declaration. “The contract will help make sure more teachers stay in Oakland and that more come to teach in our class and assistance our students.”

Oakland’s 3,000 teachers walked off the task Feb. 21, effectively shutting the city’s 86 schools.

The district kept Oakland schools open throughout the strike staffed by a skeleton crew of replacements. But most students remained away in assistance of their striking teachers. The district stated about 6 percent of students came to class throughout the weeklong action.

The walkout affected 36,000 trainees.

The Oakland Education Association stated teachers were forced to strike due to the fact that administrators had not listened to their demands for two years. Educators had been working without a contract considering that 2017.

Among their needs was a 12 percent retroactive raise covering 2017 to 2020 to compensate for what they say are among the most affordable incomes for public school teachers in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area.

A beginning income for instructors at Oakland schools is $46,500 a year and the average wage in the district is $63,000 a year.

Brown said the new proposed salary will permit instructors to earn “a living wage.”

“Experienced instructors will now be able to stay in the class,” he stated.

Almost 600 instructors left their positions at Oakland public schools last year, according to the union, which said the district was not able to maintain teachers or draw in experienced new instructors with such low wages.

The union also won a “five-month pause” on school closures after objecting a district strategy to shut as numerous as 24 schools that serve primarily African-American and Latino trainees. The union had argued that closing the schools would send more trainees to charter schools that drain more than $57 million a year from the district.

The union declined 2 earlier wage propositions from the district, which initially used a 5 percent raise covering 2017 to 2020.

The deal also needs the district to reduce class sizes and hire more trainee assistance personnel, including special education instructors, psychologists and nurses.

The talks did not center on pension or health care advantages, which are complimentary for full-time employees and their recipients. The Oakland district invests an extra $13,487 per instructor each year for health benefits for teachers and their households.

Oakland teachers were the newest teachers in the nation to strike over pay and classroom conditions.

Current strikes throughout the country have actually constructed on a wave of teacher advocacy that started last spring. Unions for West Virginia teachers, who staged a nine-day walkout last year, ended another two-day strike last week.

Last month, teachers in Denver ended a three-day walkout after reaching a offer raising their wages.

Educators 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 counselors.