Last Thursday, nearly 3,000 educators of the Oakland Educators Association (OEA) walked out on strike after reaching an impasse in contract negotiations with the Oakland Unified School District. Jimmy Barbuto, OEA bargaining team member and social science teacher said they’ve spent the last seven months “literally just waiting for the district to come with a comprehensive proposal that we can bargain with.”

Oakland educators are demanding a raise to be able to keep up with the high cost of living and attract educators to the district. They are also making common good demands to support their students – like district follow-through on commitments to support Black students, developing unused district land into affordable housing, and expanding Community Schools.

UTLA Secondary Vice President, Julie Van Winkle, tells ABC 7 News in the Bay Area that our district “is probably getting used to” UTLA making common good demands beyond salary but that it “doesn’t mean that it is easy to win those things.”

On Wednesday, the Oakland Unified School District canceled its evening board meeting signaling their continued refusal to work on an agreement. As of today, OEA educators have been out on strike for seven school days. UTLA stands in solidarity with the educators of OEA in the fight for respect and a thriving public education system.