February 27, 2019
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Statement on the Teachers' Strike in Oakland Unified School District
OAKLAND—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond participated in two all-day negotiation meetings this week between the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Education Association.
Oakland Unified School District teachers went on strike Thursday, February 21, after earlier contract talks stalled. Mediating in a strike is not a typical role for a State Superintendent; however, Thurmond was compelled to take a seat at the bargaining table.
“I have worked with Oakland Unified School District students for close to a decade,” said Thurmond. “When I was asked to help, I did it for the sake of the students. If my assistance is needed to help get the strike resolved quickly and get students and teachers back in the classroom, then I am more than willing to provide that support.”
Discussions between the district and the union have included compensation, class sizes, and expanding support services to students. According to Thurmond, talks regarding the issues presented by the teachers have been constant.“At this time, both sides are communicating and trying to reach an agreement that each feels is fair,” said Thurmond. “Talks have been moving in a productive direction, and I don’t expect that momentum to stop.”
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100