Oakland Education Association/Facebook
Leaders of the Oakland Education Association announce a tentative contract agreement to end their strike.

Classes resume in Oakland, Calif., after teachers approve new contract and end strike

March 5, 2019
Teachers will receive an 11 percent raise over four years, plus a one-time 3 percent bonus.

Teachers in the Oakland (Calif.) district have ended their strike and returned to classrooms Monday after approving a new contract that won them salary increases and concessions on class sizes and staff workloads.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the deal gives 3,000 teachers and staff members an 11 percent raise spread over four years, plus a one-time 3 percent bonus.

About 70 percent of union members voted Sunday afternoon. The contract, which runs through the 2020-21 school year, was supported by 58 percent of teachers and staff.

Besides the raises, the contract reduces caseloads for counselors, resource specialists, psychologists and speech therapists. It trims class sizes at the highest-need schools by one next year, followed by a reduction of another one in 2021 at all schools.

Nurses will receive the salary increase plus 9 percent, as well as $10,000 bonuses in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. Substitute teachers receive higher pay plus a retention bonus after 60 days.

Oakland faces huge financial challenges, officials say, including declining enrollment, poor management decisions over a long time, high debt and the growth of charter schools, which sapped about $57 million in funding over several years.

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