Oakland teacher union preparing for ‘indefinite strike’

David DeBolt:

Three days before a scheduled strike, the president of the Oakland Unified teacher union gave no indication educators and the district were any closer to a deal that would avoid picket lines at schools.

Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, on Monday said the union representing 3,000 members is prepared for an “indefinite strike” beginning Thursday. The union called for a strike on Saturday, after two years of failed negotiations.

“We hope this is a short strike and that the district listens to the community, to teachers and students,” Brown said before a meeting with district teachers at a West Oakland church.

Oakland Unified spokesman John Sasaki did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, a federal holiday in which schools and the district office were closed. Sasaki earlier said the union has not responded to the district’s request to resume negotiations. In response, Brown said the union has negotiated since 2017 and is waiting for the district to send a suitable proposal to avoid a strike.

Oakland Unified officials are working to staff classrooms with “emergency temporary teachers” and considering consolidating classes, changing school schedules and bringing administrators into classrooms to teach.