Oak­land teach­ers the next to strike?

The Tribune (SLO) - - Insight -

The union rep­re­sent­ing teach­ers in Oak­land says it will make an an­nounce­ment Sat­ur­day about a po­ten­tial strike, a day af­ter a neu­tral fact-find­ing re­port was is­sued.

The Oak­land teach­ers’ union could an­nounce Sat­ur­day whether its 3,000 mem­bers will strike af­ter ne­go­ti­at­ing and fail­ing to reach agree­ment with the Oak­land Uni­fied School Dis­trict for more than a year.

Teach­ers in the dis­trict say they are paid below their peers it the area, which has one of the high­est cost-of-liv­ing rates in the na­tion. They are seek­ing a 12 per­cent raise over three years as well as smaller class sizes. The dis­trict has of­fered five per­cent and says it is squeezed by smaller bud­gets and de­clin­ing en­roll­ment.

A strike in the city of 400,000 across the bay from San Fran­cisco would fol­low one by Den­ver teach­ers, who ended a three-day walk­out af­ter their union reached a ten­ta­tive deal Thurs­day.

The strike in Colorado was the lat­est win in a na­tional move­ment by teach­ers de­mand­ing bet­ter wages and class­room re­forms. Teach­ers in the na­tion’s largest school dis­trict, Los An­ge­les, reached a deal fol­low­ing a six-day strike in Jan­uary.

Mean­while, the teach­ers’ union in Sacra­mento voted Thurs­day night to seek au­tho­riza­tion from mem­bers for a strike there, the Sacra­mento Bee re­ported Fri­day.

In Oak­land, a fact-find­ing re­port from the Pub­lic Em­ploy­ment Re­la­tions Board was due Fri­day, with rec­om­men­da­tions for com­pro­mise.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Kyla John­son-Tram­mell said in a mes­sage posted to the dis­trict’s web­site that she was “pleased with the rec­om­men­da­tions” and hope to use the re­port to bring the union back to bar­gain­ing.

Union of­fi­cials did not re­turn calls from The As­so­ci­ated Press Fri­day. But Chaz Gar­cia, the union’s sec­ond vice pres­i­dent, told the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle that mem­bers are not wait­ing for an­other of­fer from the dis­trict based on the re­port.

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