Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes
Teachers in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) have finally reached a tentative agreement with the district after a week-long strike, bringing some relief to the community. The agreement, which is set to be voted on by the district’s board on Tuesday night, aims to address the various concerns raised by the union during the bargaining process.
One of the main repercussions of the strike is the addition of seven missed classroom days to the calendar. The district was forced to make this decision in order to comply with the required 180 instructional days mandated by the state.
During the negotiations, the union had three key points of contention: extending a cost of living adjustment, reducing class sizes, and securing additional support for special education. Early details of the contract suggest that progress has been made on these fronts. For instance, the district has committed to hiring up to 10 certificated special education support teachers this year. Additionally, K-8 teachers will have more collaboration time with special education teachers, ensuring a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.
In terms of wages, the proposed contract is a significant improvement compared to what the district had previously offered. The contract includes a 6.6% wage increase in the first year, followed by a 5.8% increase in the second year. The third-year increase will be based on the Seattle Consumer Price index, ensuring that teachers’ salaries keep up with inflation.
These wage increases are higher than what was initially offered by the district in early August, indicating that the teachers’ strike and their collective action have had a positive impact. The OUSD recognizes the importance of investing in its educators to attract and retain quality teachers, ultimately benefiting the students and the community as a whole.
As the district’s board prepares to vote on the tentative agreement, the OUSD community eagerly awaits the outcome. If approved, this agreement will mark a significant milestone in resolving the issues that led to the strike, fostering a more productive and harmonious learning environment for both teachers and students in the Oakland Unified School District.