We still deserve a fair
contract—How can we get it?
April 21st, after more than two years of negotiations between OUSD and
the OEA, the District unilaterally imposed their “last, best and final”
offer. (See the box on page 2 for the text of the imposed terms and
information about their legal status.) OEA held an extremely successful
one-day strike against the imposition on April 29th, with more than 90%
of teachers and most students not at school. Following the strike,
OUSD agreed to negotiate again, and both sides returned to the table in
May--but it quickly became clear that OUSD was really only interested in
convincing the public that they were being “reasonable” after their
unilateral imposition. The District’s proposals failed to guarantee any meaningful class
size protection, and at the end of the contract we would still be the
lowest-paid teachers in Alameda County—with the highest-paid
superintendent. OUSD would continue to spend unreasonable amounts on
outside contractors, and on excess administrators. In addition, the
District added an issue (which they had previously dropped!)-- that any
agreement would have to contain changes to our current language on
involuntary transfer/school closure that would weaken those teachers
rights to a new position. The OEA Bargaining Team was unwilling
to accept these terms, and decided it was better to carry the fight for
real education reform that puts classrooms first into the ‘10-‘11 school
year than to try to carry out an effective strike late in the school
Does this mean that
this round is over? It does not. OEA has the legal right to oppose the imposed terms,
and to strike, until imposition is lifted and we have a fair contract
with OUSD. Members felt energized after last year’s strike.
Let’s use that energy to build what it will take to win a fair
contract-- constant pressure on the District over many months, and a
strike stronger than last year’s. We can’t go back to bargaining
without more clout than last time, or May 2010 will repeat itself. OEA
will hold a membership meeting on November 16th to reaffirm our
determination to win a better contract and to vote on actions we are
willing to take to get there.
To be able to effectively renew our fight, we
Informed members. It’s important to
get this update to every member, so that they understand the
situation. It’s especially important to talk with new members about
our fight, and about what happened last year.
organization. Many sites increased their organization in preparing
for the strike—but now there are new members who need to be brought
into that. More members joined OEA committees or stepped up for
particular tasks—but we still need more participation and activism, at
the sites and at the OEA office. Ninety percent of members were willing
to strike—but we also need that many to show up in front of Second
Avenue before a strike.
organized community support.
Parents overwhelmingly supported our strike last spring, but we need to
convince them to do more. We need formal support for our efforts from
parent and community groups. We need parents and students at rallies,
and speaking on our behalf at School Board meetings.
Authorization for a stronger strike. A
one-day strike was enough to get the District to pay attention, but not
to make them bargain. An authorization for a more sustained work
action, and a plan for how and when to use that most effectively, is
essential. An organized and informed membership makes the threat of a
strike, and any actual strike, more effective.
We deserve better than
the current conditions and salary in OUSD, and so do our students-- so
let’s get to work now, and meet in November to plan our next moves. The
alternative is to accept the continuing dismantling of public education
in Oakland, and to accept a continuing decline in our working
conditions and in what our salary will buy.
For more information, and to find out how to
participate, go to:
This is the text
of the operational sections of the School Board’s imposition
Please note that:
OEA did not agree to these terms, and continues to oppose them in spite
of the language of the Board’s resolution in section 15.5 below.
The District, however, is legally bound by these terms. They cannot go
farther than these terms in the areas specified, nor alter other
sections of the OEA-OUSD contract.
• The OEA disputes the
District’s legal right to impose beyond the 2010-2011 year.
added by the Board has been underlined and language removed has been
-HOURS OF WORK
10.5.1. Preparation Periods for
For the duration of this contract,
the Employer shall provide each elementary teacher with two (2)
50-minute preparation periods per week during which time the elementary
teacher shall not have classroom teaching responsibilities of which one
(1) preparation period will be scheduled for common preparation and one
(1) preparation will be staffed to provide intervention and enhancement
opportunities as provided herein. Measure E funds shall be used as a
match to ensure the one staffed preparation period provide herein. In
the event that a site does not have the resources to match the Measure E
match, Measure shall ensure the provision of one covered prep.
ARTICLE 12 -ASSIGNMENT/TRANSFER
12.11 Assignment For
Adult Education Program
188.8.131.52 Upon the
ratification of this Agreement, there shall be no minimum number of
contracted FTE required in the Adult Education program.
ARTICLE 15 -CLASS SIZES
Class Size Reduction
15.5.1 The Employer and
Association agree it is their intent that implementation of the class
size maximums in the Class Size Reduction Program in Article 15.4.1
above is governed by the laws, regulations and procedures of the State's
Class Size Reduction (,'CSRt) Program, including but expressly not
limited to allowable class size overages under the State CSR Program and
penalty provisions under the State CSR Program. In the event that there
are changes to the state CSR program, the parties agree to meet and
negotiate the effects of such changes with the goal of continuing class
size reduction each year.
15.7. Adult Education -Maximum Class Sizes
For the duration of this Agreement, the Adult Education class size
maximums set forth in Article 17.1 shall be suspended. This suspension
shall expire upon termination of this Agreement and the class size
maximums set forth in Article 17.1 shall apply for purposes of successor
ARTICLE 24 -COMPENSATION
FY 2008-2009 (Closed Contract Year -No Change)
FY 2009-1010 0% salary increase.
FY 2010-2011 and FY 2011-2012 -Salary Re-opener.
Additional Salary Increases
adjustments provided in Sections 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 above shall apply
to the Early Childhood Education and Adult Education Salary Schedules
as indicated in the salary schedules in Appendix 1.
Employer-Employee Contribution to Health Benefits
FY2009-2010 CCL (Unchanged)
18.104.22.168 FY2010-2011 and FY2011-2012
(Subject to HBIC negotiations)
Quality Public Education is a Civil Right!
July 1, 2010
Following the District's unilateral imposition of its terms and conditions on April 21st, and following the OEA's one-day strike on April 29th, the sides agreed to meet to consider the recommendations of the Fact-Finding report and to negotiate a settlement, if possible, by June 1st. After discussion of the issues over the first three days, each side drew up a set of proposals that they would be willing to settle for. These proposals were still far apart on the major issues-- compensation, class size, adult education positions, caseloads for SDC teachers, and more realistic caseloads for counselors and nurses. In the two most costly areas in contention, OEA scaled back what we said we had to have in order to settle--to a total of 8% over the four years, and to a K-3 class size limit of 25 (with a limit of 20 in decile 1 and 2 schools and in combination classes).
The District continues to claim that it has no money, and that it has to make cuts. The OEA continues to believe that OUSD needs to change its priorities toward classrooms and away from consultants and excess administrators, and that the money saved should be used to maintain smaller class sizes and to better compensate employees. OUSD's income per student continues to be significantly higher than that of most surrounding school districts--largely because of a parcel tax that was supposed to support smaller class sizes, attracting and retaining teachers, and providing enrichment for students.
The District has made cuts this year (and some of them have been in the right places -- less NEXO-level jobs!)--but they have still maintained the basic obsessions and expenses of the state administration: excessive testing, RBB, scripted learning, high levels of administrative supervision-- and in order to pay for all of that, low teacher and support staff salaries. These are the things that would have to change to increase compensation--the District's "inability to pay" is really an inability to imagine how to run "their" District without these things.
- Under OUSD's offer, Oakland teachers, counselors and others would continue to have the lowest salaries in Alameda County. Our schools would continue to have unacceptably high turnover as teachers leave for better-paying districts.
- Over the four years from the expiration of the last contract to the expiration of the new one, OEA members would get a 2% raise in the last six months of the contract if funding declined by less than 1%, while the superintendent and school board members all got 6% raises last year.
- OUSD says that it must continue to have the option of raising class sizes in kindergarten to 3rd grade classes as high as 30 students.
- OUSD says it must have the option to cut more positions from the Adult Education program.
- OUSD continues to insist that it could not agree to any class size limits for special education students in Special Day Classes.
We could not agree to these District proposals without agreeing to a further decline in public education in Oakland. We have been able, so far, to maintain our health care and to keep away the kinds of concessions that many other locals have made. We believe that we can do better than what the District is now offering-- for our students, for our schools and for our members. But we couldn't do better in bargaining this year. We think it's better to mobilize again next year than to sign a contract now for the little we could get above the District's imposed terms.
The key will be organizing explicit community support--and then returning to the bargaining table and to the possibility of work action. Come back next year prepared to talk to parents and to new staff about what has happened and what needs to happen. We can do better.
Quality Public Education is a Civil Right!