Oakland schools and Wednesday’s general strike

Staff Photojournalist

I’ll be blogging about the general strike for the Tribune tomorrow, and I’d love to hear how the day is shaping up for staff and families in the city’s schools. If you think of it, send me an email (kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com), message me on Facebook (facebook.com/KatyEMurphy) or post a comment below with your plans, thoughts and stories.

If you’ll be posting photos and updates on Twitter, send me your name so I can follow you! Mine is @katymurphy.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • All district-run schools will remain open tomorrow.
  • OUSD has gotten 268 requests for substitute teachers, compared to 24 for last Wednesday. Continue Reading

Elementary school to join Occupy Oakland strike

The staff at Bridges Academy at Melrose sent a bilingual flier home to families, inviting them to join them in Wednesday’s general strike in support of Occupy Oakland — and informing them that teachers would not be in their classrooms that day.

They’re meeting at the East Oakland elementary school in the morning and traveling to Oakland City Hall together, by BART.

“We, the teachers at Bridges, are joining the Occupy Oakland protest on Wednesday, November 2. We will not be in our classrooms that day, all day,” the flier says. “We are the 99%!!”

Are the teachers at your school thinking about joining the strike?

Strike flier


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: Continue Reading


As bargaining begins (again), Oakland teachers to “line the lake”

Lakeside Park

The Oakland school district administration and the union bargaining team return to the table again on Thursday to see if they can work out an agreement in these tense, post-contract imposition times.

To build momentum, on Wednesday the union plans to celebrate Day of the Teacher with a 3:30 p.m. rally along the north side of Lake Merritt (on Lakeshore, near Lakeside Park) and a march to the district office. I mean, what celebration would be complete without a school board meeting?

You can find the OEA flier, with more details about the event, here.

UPDATE: The OEA and OUSD put out a joint news release on bargaining with a decidedly hopeful note. You can read it here.


Teachers give union leaders the go-ahead

The vote is in: Union leadership is now authorized to call an indefinite strike as long as a council of representatives from each school approve it first. (As long as it’s less than 10 days long, it’s considered a “short strike” and it won’t need the council’s approval.) The proposal won 75 percent approval last night.

The turnout was roughly the same as it was in January — 755 votes out of a membership of 2,800, including substitutes,according to OEA’s website. That’s about 25 percent.

755 total votes
565 – yes
184 – no
6 – abstained


Teachers vote on labor proposal; results TBD

STUDENT AT OAKLAND TEACHERS' ONE DAY ACTION. PHOTO BY LANE HARTWELL/TRIBUNEI spent an hour outside a membership meeting at Oakland Technical High School this evening, talking with teachers about the labor dispute — and the big vote on a proposal that would authorize union leaders to call further actions, including a strike.

(An amendment to tonight’s proposal requires an indefinite strike to be approved by a majority of the union representatives at each school, in addition to the union’s 15-member executive board. Tonight’s vote tally should be available by late afternoon/early evening tomorrow.)

Here’s what they told me:

Continue Reading


Big decision Monday for Oakland teachers

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…)

Continue Reading