As you may have seen, contract negotiations between the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and the teacher’s union (OEA) have been in the news recently. The main point of contention is a raise in compensation. The OEA has asked for a 12% raise over the next three years, which would cost the district about $24 million and the district has offered a 5% raise over three years, which would cost about $10 million.
At GO, we believe that teachers deserve a raise and we also know that this particular moment is a complicated one for OUSD. The school board has passed a resolution to cut $30 million from the budget, so to reach any contract settlement there will need to be a conversation about trade offs — if we invest in a raise for teachers, what do we stop investing in?
This tension is what’s leading to more and more conversation around a teacher’s strike. While the strike hasn’t been called yet, the bargaining process is nearing its final steps. Bargaining recently moved into fact finding. Fact finding is when a neutral party hears final arguments from both sides and then presents a non binding report with a recommendation for contract settlement. We should see the report some time in February. At that time, the union becomes “strike legal” and could strike at any time as long as most union members agree to it.
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