The Oakland Teachers’ Strike is over; the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) sent this press release.
Oakland – Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is proud to announce that it has reached an agreement with the Oakland Education Association (OEA) on a new contract that provides a total compensation increase of 14% – an 11% on-going salary increase with a one-time 3% bonus for educators. It also reduces class sizes and maintains the fiscal solvency of the school district. This is a big win for our teachers, students and community.
“Today marks a sea change for OUSD as we take a major step in support of our teachers and students,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “Our teachers are the core of everything we do as a school district, and we are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that shows them how valuable they are. The contract will help ensure more teachers stay in Oakland and that more come to teach in our classrooms and support our students.”
This seven day long strike was difficult for the entire community as it threw much of the city into uncertain waters and disrupted many lives. But it also showed our teachers how appreciated they are by our students, families and all of Oakland. Since the strike began, the bargaining teams for OUSD and OEA have worked long hours – sometimes overnight – trying to find common ground and it’s the result of this dedication of both teams that we finally have a tentative agreement in place.
“We are thrilled we were able to work with our colleagues on the OEA team to craft a solution that both honors our teachers and allows us to remain financially stable,” said Board of Education President, Aimee Eng. “This contract is a compromise made by people who worked together to focus more of our energy and resources in the classroom. This agreement does exactly that. Of course, we must thank State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond and State Assembly Member, Rob Bonta for the critical roles they played in helping us reach an agreement.”
“I personally agree with so much of what the teachers have been saying,” said Johnson-Trammell. “We cannot fix decades of chronic underinvestment in education with a single contract, but this is an important first step. We look forward to working together, directing the passion and energy that we saw during the strike into a collective effort to increase state funding and build the schools our students deserve. In this, we are united.”
Now we hope that all of us can focus on healing. Strikes are intense, emotional times, but now we will walk back into our schools, stand shoulder-to-shoulder and work together on behalf of our students. We will have to be intentional and conscious about how we rebuild trust and relationships that may have been damaged during the strike.
“I want to thank everyone in OUSD – from custodians to principals to front office staff, along with central office staff – who stepped up to keep our schools open and our students safe during the strike. I know it wasn’t easy,” said Johnson-Trammell. “I also want to acknowledge the conviction of our families in supporting our teachers from day one. On Monday, March 4, we look forward to everyone being together again in the classroom and engaged in teaching and learning.”