Teachers in Oakland enjoyed a number of successes, including a pay raise, after their walkout last week.
“On Sunday, the local teachers union and school officials in Oakland cut a deal after more than a year of contract negotiations. While the city’s 2,000-plus teachers didn’t get everything they demanded during the strike, they got a lot more than the district wanted to give them. Most notably, teachers snagged an 11 percent pay raise over four years and a 3 percent bonus — nearly double the pay raise district officials had offered before teachers walked off the job.
The school district agreed to hire more school counselors, psychologists, and special education teachers to shrink the large workloads those staff members have taken on. The district also agreed to give school nurses generous bonuses and raises, as part of an effort to keep and attract school nurses in an area with a high cost of living.
Teachers were less thrilled by other parts of the deal, though — namely, the modest decrease in class sizes, which will only shrink by one or two students in the next two years, depending on whether or not the classes are in high-need schools. The district also refused to cancel its plans to close about two dozen schools to pave the way for new charter schools or combine low-enrollment schools. School officials did say they would hold off on some closures and that they would push for a statewide moratorium on charter school expansion.
‘The real victory of our historic strike for the schools our students deserve lies in the power and unity we built at our school sites, in our union, and in the city of Oakland,’ said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association labor union, during a press conference Friday. ‘Tens of thousands of Oaklanders of all ages joined us on our picket lines and at our mass rallies and actions.'”
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