It is now Day One of the 2023 Oakland Unified School District teachers’ strike, and schools are still open, but attendance is sparse as teachers are out on the picket lines

Teachers at the Oakland Unified School District last went on strike in 2019, and now just four years later, the 3,000 teachers and faculty of  the Oakland Education Association are officially on strike again as of Wednesday night, according to KTVU. That 2019 strike lasted seven days, and apparently did not produce good long-term results for the teachers’ union, as KPIX reports that Oakland teachers remain the “lowest paid in the Bay Area.”

And as the Chronicle points out, there are only three weeks left in the school year at Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).

Oakland Education Association (OEA) president Ismael Armendariz told KTVU that the Oakland school board is "neglecting their duty," and that "the district and the union have been having productive conversations, but the school board has failed to give their chief negotiator the authority to bargain with us."

Last-minute negotiations broke down Wednesday night. According to the Chronicle, district officials announced at around 9 p.m. that the two sides could not reach an agreement, and the strike was on just a few weeks before summer vacation. The district said in a Wednesday night statement, “The end of the school year is always filled with milestone events for our students, so we want to ensure regular school resumes as soon as possible.”

The union is asking for a 23% raise for all teachers and staff (nurses, counselors, etc.). The district has countered with a 22% raise offer, but it would not apply across the board, and some teachers would have to increase their instructional time to get additional raises and benefits.

KTVU adds the teachers are also asking for “six ‘restorative days’ to combat burnout,” the ending of the Oakland school closures, and subsidized student transportation, among other demands.

There are about 34,000 students enrolled in OUSD, and schools are open today. But the Chronicle's report notes that attendance was looking sparse on Thursday morning. District office staffers are largely running the classrooms, though there doesn't seem to be much instruction taking place, and it’s essentially glorified childcare for the low numbers of students showing up.

Oh, and on top of this, the San Francisco Unified School District teachers are also threatening to strike and disrupt the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, over their still-ongoing payroll fiasco and other workplace complaints.

Related: Oakland Schools and Parents Brace for Likely Teachers Strike Thursday [SFist]

Image: @DSAEastBay via Twitter