teacher strike

Oakland Unified Tells Parents Not to Take Kids to School Friday as Teachers Plan to Strike

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Thousands of Oakland teachers are expected to skip school Friday in the latest action to protest the plan to close and consolidate several schools. 

Days ahead of the planned teacher strike, the Oakland Unified School District told families not to bring their kids to school Friday because they expect most teachers won’t be there.

The teachers say that losing teachers for one day is nothing compared to what will happen when the district closes several schools permanently.

Thousands are expected to skip class and take to the streets of Oakland with a very direct message to not close the schools.

Earlier this year, Oakland Unified announced plans to close or merge 11 of its district’s schools -- four this year and seven the next year. 

The district said enrollment numbers have dropped dramatically and they no longer have the student base or finances needed to keep all the schools open. 

 Some parents say they aren’t buying it. 

“They’re signing multi million contracts,” said a La Escuelita parent, Max Orozco.

Parents also said the change will be devastating for their kids.

“A lot of anxiety too about not being in the community that she's built over these last seven years,” said parent Azlinah Tambu. 

OUSD said the one-day teachers strike is illegal, adding that teachers are allowed to strike in two situations: one, when there is no contract and both parties are going through a long process of resolving differences, or two, when there are emergency health and safety issues.

Neither of which, they say, are true for Friday's strike.

But the Oakland Educators Association disagrees. 

They say their unfair labor charge against the district allows them to walk.

“It's the district that's doing something illegal. We have an agreement with the district that we made in 2019, the district agreed that prior to the implementation of a school closure, there would be a one year period of engagement with the affected community, and that's being violated,” said Divya Farias of the Oakland Educators Association.

Either way, the one-day action means thousands of families will have to find somewhere else for their kids to go.

And that isn't the only disruption.

Other unions now say they will strike in solidarity Friday, including the Longshoreman's Union.

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