Oakland, California teachers press for expansion of strike as union seeks to contain struggle
23 February 2019
The strike of 3,000 teachers in Oakland, California completed its second day Friday, as educators across the city maintained their picket lines and assembled for a rally attended by more than 1,000 people.
The struggle of Oakland teachers is part of a growing wave of strikes throughout the country and internationally, including strikes this year of teachers in Los Angeles, Denver, and West Virginia in the US, and strikes in Mexico, Argentina, Morocco, Tunisia, Denmark, France, and the UK.
There is enormous support for the striking teachers from workers in Oakland and across the Bay Area, with community members joining pickets, passersby continuously honking in support of teachers, and an atmosphere of solidarity pervading the city.
Despite this broad popular support, the Oakland Education Association (OEA) is working to isolate teachers and reach an agreement with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) as quickly as possible.
The OUSD released an insulting contract proposal Wednesday. The offer includes a derisory seven percent raise spread out over four years, which will not keep pace with inflation, meaning that teachers will face an effective pay cut. The proposal also includes class size reductions of only one student in two years for most schools. Both these proposals are contingent on extra funding from the state legislature in Sacramento and the district adopting a staggered school day.
An automated message sent out Friday evening on behalf of Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell to OUSD employees and families stated in part, “We look forward to having everyone return to the classroom to return to the business of…