At a 4 p.m. membership meeting tomorrow at Oakland Technical High School, teachers will take an important vote: whether to authorize its leadership to call an extended strike. As of this afternoon, the meeting has not been prominently featured on the Oakland Education Association’s website, though I saw fliers promoting it on strike day.
Union leaders met Friday evening to determine the substance of tomorrow’s secret ballot and whether it would include strike authorization. My attempts to reach OEA President Betty-Olson Jones by phone that night and the next day were unsuccessful, but fortunately I saw her last night at the Oakland Museum of California reopening. (I love cornering sources while they’re out trying to enjoy themselves…)
Olson-Jones said the ballot language asks teachers to authorize actions “up to and including a strike.” Maybe it’s the standard next step for unions during a protracted contract struggle, and teachers just expect to be faced with this decision. At the same time, it doesn’t seem like the vote has been very widely publicized. (Note: I later learned that an email went out today, informing teachers about what, exactly, they’d be voting on.)
Teachers: Did you know, or assume, you’d be asked whether to authorize a strike at Monday’s meeting? Do you plan to attend? Will you vote “yes” — and why or why not?
NOTE: A strike authorization by a union’s membership doesn’t mean a strike has been called; it means union leaders are authorized to call a strike if they deem it necessary.