The vast majority of those who participated in tonight’s union election authorized a strike. But most Oakland teachers didn’t vote at all.
The turnout was less than half of what it was in May, the first time this year OEA members authorized a strike. (This vote was to affirm the last one.) Only 341 union members cast ballots tonight, compared to 755 in May.
That’s well under 15 percent of the union’s membership.
Even among those who did come to the membership meeting, said union President Betty Olson-Jones, “The sentiment for a strike at this time is very, very weak.”
There must be a reason so few teachers turned out tonight, besides hectic schedules. Are they voting by not voting?
Olson-Jones said she was disappointed in the showing. She thinks it might have something to do with a “digital divide,” or generation gap. “A lot of our younger teachers — they just don’t do meetings,” she said.
Do you agree? If not, what else could it mean that more than 85 percent of union members didn’t participate an election that could so directly affect them?