This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by John Halcomb, a computer technology preparatory teacher at Prescott Elementary in Oakland, California. John is a rank-and-file member of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and participated in last month's week-long teachers’ strike which resulted in a tentative four-year agreement with teachers will reportedly receive an 11% salary increase and one-time 3% bonus.
We discuss the reasons behind the OEA's 3,000 member strike—from paltry wages, congested classrooms, to a startling lack of school nurses—and how the city's growing inequality has impacted students and staff. John explains how the strike emerged, and the tactics that were implemented to pressure school administration and discourage workers from crossing the picket line.
John discusses why he believes both the OEA demands, and the ratified agreement didn't go far enough. He also stresses the need for sustained political education and organizing among educators between contract fights.
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