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A strike on the first day of school? Unlikely.

Oakland teachers' strike on April 29If my inbox is any indication, the rumor mill is humming about the possibility that Oakland teachers will strike on the first week of the school year. (Some parents say they’ve heard it from teachers they know or other reliable sources.)

A new school year can be stressful as it is, without wondering whether it’s going to start as planned. One mom asked me if I knew how a strike school worked.

So I’m here to tell you not to worry.

Here’s what Betty Olson-Jones, the teacher’s union president, said this afternoon: “No, at this point that is not a plan. … There is no plan for a strike at the beginning of the year.”

Whatever your reliable sources may lead you to believe, the union’s leadership has not been crafting strategy over the summer, at least not formally. Olson-Jones just got back into town, and the union’s board meets this weekend for the first time since school let out.

Besides, strikes take a great deal of planning and coordination (not to mention buy-in from the rank-and-file), and — as you’re all well aware — there’s very little time between now and Aug. 30. Eleven days, to be exact.

Now, whether teachers will strike later in the school year is another question.

“There are no definite plans at this point,” Olson-Jones said.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • harlemmoon

    May compassion and common sense prevail.

  • Hot R

    Bad idea in tough economic times with a parcel tax looming following low test scores on the STAR tests.

  • J.R.

    It’s for the kids……………………c’mon people!

  • anon

    Thank you for looking into this- as a parent, I agree with the first three responses, and hope that a strike won’t happen. I only wish my employer would keep my job ay my current level of pay and benefits, with no layoffs for anyone. I’ve received a pay cut (and lesser benefits with no raise in 4 years), and am looking at furloughs, if not more layoffs in December. All this at a very prestigous firm.

  • oakey

    If they do strike, it should put a nail in the coffin of a tax increase to support this dysfunctional system. I am very happy that my vote AGAINST more money for OUSD will cancel two yes votes. That’s only fair, given the way the teacher’s union here elects their shills to the school board, making the labor contract negotiations go “properly.”

  • TheTruthHurts

    Anon,
    You have to keep in mind that some labor unions live in an alternative reality. Some labor unions step up and deal with the “truth” of what’s going on and others trot out tired slogans from a bygone era. They attack an “enemy” that has moved on and is not even the enemy any more. They can’t see it because they are wearing rearview mirrors instead of binoculars toward the future.

    How many labor unions do you know negotiated a raise in California last year? How many teachers unions even tried? How many demand a benefits package that the Democratic Obama administration calls a “Cadillac plan?” How many unions went on strike over a management offer that included no cut in pay and covering increases in the cost of health benefits?

    Teaching is a hard job. Maybe it does force some into activities that lead to “altered realities.” I don’t know why there is this alternative reality, just that it in fact, is.

    It’s a shame given the level of combined effort necessary to deal with the truly challenging task before their members. The world is changing, their membership is changing, and still they persist. It’s sad really.

    God save the children from this incessant dysfunction in OUSD. It’s hard to watch and I know many have tuned out and moved on. That’s a shame too.

  • Nextset

    Bad school districts such as OUSD will likely fail and their students distribute among the Charters.

    The reason for this is that people will not want to attend their “schools” and the potential students have other options. OUSD doesn’t have to lose all the students, just enough to tip them over the cliff. Think of it as a downward spiral (death spiral). Like the post office.

    Let the unions strike. their members are lucky they still have jobs. Later on they won’t.

    Start looking for the various municipalities to “freeze” their pension plans. They’ll resort to this when the layoffs and service cuts are no longer easy to take. It’s coming, at your next contract expiration date.

    Brave New World