OAKLAND, Calif. — Thousands of union teachers, parents and students from the Bay Area and beyond rallied here Jan. 12 demanding more money for education, pay increases for teachers and smaller class sizes.
Many of the teachers were members of the Oakland Education Association, which has been in negotiations with school district officials that have dragged on for over 18 months. Many carried signs saying, “Ready to strike.”
“There is little or no money in Oakland for school supplies and other necessities,” said Karl Daku, who taught English here, but now teaches in Berkeley. “It breaks my heart to see the discrepancy between the districts.”
Teachers from Fremont, who are also in contract negotiations, picketed schools there Jan. 11 then drove to the Oakland rally the next day. “We want higher pay and better medical coverage,” Fremont English teacher Tiffany Stelle told the Militant.
“I think the majority of teachers in Fremont have two jobs now to make ends meet, just like I do,” said Maile Ferreiva, a school librarian there.