I’ve been holed up in the Tribune’s downtown `command center’ since before sunrise, taking information from reporters out in the field, but they tell me people of all ages have taken part in today’s demonstrations.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
If 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.
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.
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.
I 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.)
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…)