District pushes back on ‘common good’ measures

District pushes back on 'common good' measures

The Oakland teachers strike continued Thursday, after a more contentious turn the day before, as allegations of misleading figures, canceled board meetings and a doubling-down against the “common good” left the explosive labor battle perhaps more muddled and messy entering its second week than it was in its first.

The Oakland Education Association announced its plans to strike for its sixth day Thursday, with picket lines forming at schools across the Oakland Unified School District at 7:30 a.m. A “big picket” was scheduled at 12:30 p.m. at Glenview Elementary School on 4215 La Cresta Avenue.

As the strike entered its sixth day, the two sides seemed to push further apart Wednesday despite promising weekend developments towards an agreement. While the general consensus was that the major hang-up was based on the union and district’s fundamental disagreements on common good measures, teachers alleged Wednesday they were given misleading information by the district — and that only 44% of union members would receive the hoped-for 22% salary bump in the latest proposal.

The district school board was scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon at La Escuelita Elementary, where a conference with labor negotiators to give the public an update was on the docket. However, the meeting was canceled after the district “could not ensure a quorum of Board Directors or that the meeting would happen without disruption.”

On Wednesday morning, the union announced a rally to take place outside the elementary school while the board meeting took place inside. The meeting was canceled just four hours later. Supporters of the union still took to the elementary school for their now-daily united rally.

The district still managed to get its message across Wednesday evening in a bulletin in which it provided a major push-back against the common good measures and claimed that the full implementation of the union’s demands would cost the district more than $1 billion.

Despite the teacher’s claims that the district’s compensation proposal was “misleading,” OUSD Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell said in a video posted Wednesday night that the sides “appear close to an agreement on a robust package which would give teachers a historic raise.” She acknowledged that only “some teachers” and OEA staff would receive a 22% raise under the latest proposal.

“The remaining issue is how best to work on the common good proposal, which seeks to assign the school district with addressing such broad societal issues as housing for homeless and drought-tolerant landscaping,” she said. “While the district agrees that these issues should be addressed, and we are already working on many of them, the issues cannot be tackled by school district budgets alone.”

Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/05/11/oakland-teachers-strike-day-6-district-pushes-back-on-common-good-measures/

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