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Striking students outnumber teachers at Fremont

By cburt
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 10:03 am in strike, students, teachers, union contract.

strike day at Fremont Federation. Photo by Lane Hartwell/Oakland Tribune8:45 a.m. Angela Hill reports that there were about 50 to 60 people scattered around the perimeter of Fremont High School along Foothill Boulevard, High Street and 47th Avenue.

About 15 or 20 were teachers, but most were students — some supporting the teachers and holding picket signs, but most just in small clusters hanging out with friends.

The campus looked nearly deserted, and one teacher said he counted about 70 students going in, but more than half of them soon wandered back out. So far, there had been no major confrontations.

“We have strict rules that we are not going to block anyone trying to cross the picket line,” said Sid Waxman, who has taught English for about three years in the Paul Robeson High School, one of four small schools on the Fremont campus. Robeson is slated for closure.

Gabriela Sanchez, 16, a junior, was one of the students holding a picket sign on the sidewalk. “We volunteered to help the teachers,” she said. “The teachers explained it to me that they haven’t had a contract in two years.”

Sophomore Ray Ramos, 16, also supported the teachers. “It’s not fair for them to teach us without getting paid enough,” he said. Ramos and Sanchez also used the strike event as an opportunity to encourage people to march in the May Day immigration rally scheduled for Friday.

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  • Blog Reader

    Most of the striking people at Fremont were not students at 8:45 a.m. Maybe your reporter confused young teachers with students. Please change your headline on the post because it is wrong.

  • Joe Shmoe

    I dont know about all that, but I just saw a group of teens, OUSD or not, threatening an adult near the Fremont campus.

    So … who is responsible when these kids are out of school, and parents not at home, for their safety and the city’s safety?

    This is a disgrace!

  • http://www.skylinehs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=77763&type=u&rn=6808095 David Orphal

    Joe writes a good question. Who is responsible for the children. Teachers have a right to say, “No, thank you. We will not work for the wages and under the conditions that you have dictated.”

    It is a disgrace! OUSD spends millions each year for “consultants” but cannot offer teacher even the 2% raise called for by fact finding?

    Teachers want 5% this year, 5% next year, and 5% the year after that. That is not even close to the 15% that has been frequently reported alongside statements about how unreasonable teachers are being.

    The fact finders say OUSD can afford 2%. Inflation have averaged 2.6% each year over the past five year. Can’t OUSD even afford to allow their teacher salaries to keep up with inflation?

  • TheTruthHurts

    Ya know lies are what make people disrespect you. Wages are low in Oakland, you don’t need lies and hyperbole to make your points.

    I’ve now read the factfinders “recommendations” and what they call for includes 2% beginning JANUARY 2012. Yes, a 2% raise, but I think you’re being a tad misleading.

    Also, it has now been made clear to me that most teachers get annual raises based on years of service until they “max out” somewhere after 10 years. These annual raises are more than 2.6% and salary schedule increases this way from about $40 to just over $70K. Not enough, but at least let’s be honest with folks.

  • love your bloggie

    I saw no one, NO ONE, no line or nothing else, in front of Frick Middle at 11:20.

    I saw two strikers at Montclair Elementary blowing whistles yelling “Strike breakers! MLK and Cesar Chavez never crossed a strike line,” to aides (?) in charge of children moving about portables. Which meant that the children had to be put through all that. I have pictures of these two teachers and will provide them if KM requests them.

  • J.R.

    The Truth,

    This is economics, do you really expect them to be honest with people? Their jobs(and rights thereto) are already locked in(as opposed to normal working Joe’s) due to tenure and seniority, money is the next thing on the agenda.

  • Blog Reader

    Love Your Bloggie — You saw nobody at Frick because at 11:20 a.m., most teachers were making their way to the rally at Ogawa Plaza.

  • aly

    it bothers me deeply that “blog reader” has posted the names of two teachers who went to work today. it seems like an invasion of their privacy and an intentionally aggressive action.

    i’m not a fan of censorship because all perspectives deserve to be heard, but listing names isn’t about a point of view. am i totally off in thinking that post should be censored or removed?

    [bracing for major blowback]

  • Cranky Teacher

    The Truth Hurts, who are you talking to?

    I’ve been saying for months that the salaries go from 40K to 70K. Nobody is denying that.

    The fact-finding report was actually very much leaning toward the district in terms of calling for no raise for two years (but cutting five work days when the students are not in session).

    That was why it was all the more surprising when the district immediately rejected even the modest step and moved to impose.

  • Cranky Teacher

    It was definitely pointed and I wouldn’t have done that, but we’re all grown-ups here. This is big kid stuff. They weren’t accused of a crime. Under what policy should it have been censored?

  • aly

    i agree that we’re grown ups, and as such we shouldn’t resort to tactics like busting people out under the cover of anonymity/screen names.

    and you’re right; they weren’t accused of a crime, but they were singled out as strike-breakers and therefore pitted against a union of 2,800 colleagues (according to OEA’s figures). as i already said, it seems like an invasion of their privacy and that’s what feels wrong about it to me.

    finally, again, i’m not interested in censoring viewpoints. i’m not after someone because i disagree with their opinion on this issue. it’s about privacy for people who didn’t choose to enter this forum. it isn’t our job to put others’ identities out there.

    katy- if those teachers were uncomfortable with their names being listed in this blog, would that be grounds for removal? i am unsure where the line is drawn.

  • Katy Murphy

    Aly – I’m not comfortable with that post either. I asked our online editor for his opinion, but since I haven’t yet heard a response, I will take it down. I agree that it doesn’t add a viewpoint to the discussion. Besides, if someone feels that strongly about airing names, why wouldn’t they publish their own?

  • Sad Teacher

    I was prepared to strike today but changed my mind when I learned that the teachers were going to try to make sure that school lunches weren’t delivered. This made me really upset -how do hungry elementary children help our cause? I decided to go in and take care of the kids.

    The students who showed up were from families who couldn’t afford to pay day care or to take a day off and the children were subjected to a lot of angry screaming and taunting. I reassured them that the teachers were yelling at me, not them, but it was really uncomfortable and the kids will never look at those out-of-control teachers in the same way again. The students acted more mature than some of the teachers today.

  • J.R.

    Sad Teacher,
    You are the kind of teacher who is never forgotten by students and parents, what courage and fortitude you displayed. I wish that I had the honor of shaking your hand, and thanking you personally on behalf of the parents and kids. Thank you