Oakland teachers call off strike; Deal reached with school administrators

Teachers in Oakland, California, are now back to their schools. They have called off the weeklong strike Friday after reaching a deal with school administrators.

Oakland Education Association union leaders celebrated with cheers and applause saying teachers have won and all the demands have been agreed including smaller classes, higher pay and more school resources.

After the deal is ratified, the teachers will get a 11 percent hike in their salaries along with a one-time 3 percent bonus.

Teachers could be voting Saturday and following the approval of the deal they will start attending classrooms next week.

In a statement the Oakland Education Association said, “This is a historic contract with a win in every major proposal we made.”

Union President Keith Brown said, “We have achieved so much in the seven days of our historic strike in Oakland.”

3,000 teachers walked out of schools in the city on February 21. Their move affected 86 schools and 36,000 students even though the district kept the schools open with the help of substitutes.

However, attendance was poor and about 6 percent students turned up during the weeklong strike.

The starting current annual salary of teachers is $46,500. The teachers demanded 12 percent retroactive hike.

Last month teachers in Los Angeles too staged a six-day strike with similar demands. They settled on a 6 percent rise.

Paul Linus