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Oakland Teachers: We Won

Striking teachers say they triumphed in negotiations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 2, 2019 10:07 AM CST
In this Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, file photo, teachers, students and supporters rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall in Oakland, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – Striking teachers in Oakland, California, celebrated after reaching a tentative contract deal Friday with school administrators to end a seven-day walkout, the AP reports. To cheers and applause, union leaders from the Oakland Education Association announced that teachers had won much of what they demanded—higher pay, smaller classes, and more school resources—in a week of marathon negotiating sessions with the district. "This is a historic contract with a win in every major proposal we made," the Oakland Education Association says in a statement. "We have achieved so much in the seven days of our historic strike in Oakland," union President Keith Brown tells a news conference. "Our power in the streets prevailed." The tentative deal includes an 11% salary increase and a one-time 3% bonus, once the deal is ratified, Brown says.

What's more, school officials promised to lobby California for a moratorium on new Oakland charter schools and to ensure no schools are closed in the next five months, per the Washington Post. Teachers were expected to vote Saturday, and if the deal is approved, return to classrooms next week. "On Monday, March 4, we look forward to everyone being together again in the classroom," Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell says in a statement. "The contract will help ensure more teachers stay in Oakland and that more come to teach in our classrooms and support our students." Oakland's 3,000 teachers walked off the job Feb. 21, effectively shutting the city's 86 schools. The district kept Oakland schools open during the strike staffed by a skeleton crew of substitutes. The walkout affected 36,000 students.

(Read more teachers stories.)

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