Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, a former Oakland Unified teacher and principal, says district has to live within its "current financial reality" and end the "same repeated conversations that we have been having for decades."
As Oakland teachers prepare for a strike, a state arbitrator points to a range of factors, such as basing state funding on attendance rather than enrollments, a disproportionate concentration of charter schools in urban districts and high special education and pension costs as potential stumbling blocks to reaching an agreement not only in Oakland but in other districts experiencing labor turmoil.
For months the district warned it needed to cut $30 million from its 2019-20 budget. When a plan to cut a lower amount came before them, the board put off a vote amid complaints that members didn't know how the cuts would impact students and schools. About 100 staffers, most from the central office, are slated to lose their jobs.
Oakland teachers voted overwhelmingly to support a strike if their union can't negotiate a new contract.
They rallied Tuesday outside Oakland city hall and won support from the city council which has no authority to settle the contract dispute with the Oakland Unified School District. A strike can not legally occur until after Feb. 15 when a neutral fact-finding report is expected to be issued.
The California Teachers Association and other public employee unions have turned to dues contracts to sustain membership revenues that the U.S. Supreme Court put jeopardy in the Janus decision. Now there's a new round of lawsuits.