The Oakland Education Association, which represents Oakland, California’s public school teachers, announced Monday morning that it had reached a tentative agreement with the Oakland Unified School District, effectively ending the strike and allowing some 35,000 students to return to class, more than a week after educators first hit the picket line.
The Oakland Unified School District informed parents in a statement that schools will be open on Monday but that instructors would not be expected to return until Tuesday.
Union officials issued a statement praising the deal.
Beyond the economic gains, this hard-fought tentative agreement, if ratified by our members, will help ensure that educators, parents, students, and other stakeholders have a voice in the decision-making process, said Kampala Taiz-Rancifer, vice president of the Oakland Education Association, in the statement.
A 15.5 percent raise for most teachers, back pay, and multilingual stipends for teachers are all part of the tentative agreement between the union and the school district that will last for 2.5 years. The union claims that the agreement will bring school counselors to elementary schools for the first time as well as other support professionals like school librarians, guidance counselors, and school nurses.
Over the weekend, both sides stated that they had settled their differences on four “common good” demands relating to the treatment of homeless and housing-insecure kids, community school governance, treatment of Historically Black Schools, and procedures for closing schools.
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This tentative agreement is about a teacher being able to put bread on their table and it is also about feeding young minds, said Oakland Education Association president Ismael Armendariz in the statement. It’s about more than a paycheck, it’s about the common good.
Students in the Oakland Unified School District will return to full classroom instruction Tuesday after the district and teachers announced a tentative deal to end a strike that had kept 34,000 students out of school for more than a week.https://t.co/FwfrqyEMqF
— FOX26 News (@KMPHFOX26) May 15, 2023
In a news conference announcement made Monday morning, the school system said they will discuss the details of the tentative deal later in the day.
Oakland Unified School District teachers went on strike on May 4 after contract discussions ended in failure. The teachers were demanding more compensation and more attention to social issues in the classroom. This was the second strike by Oakland’s educators in as many years.