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Striking Oakland Teachers Stage Sit-In

January 25, 1986|DAN MORAIN | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — Several hundred striking Oakland teachers took over the East Bay school district's administration building Friday to protest "stalling" by administrators in contract negotiations.

The action occurred as the strike, which has shut down most public school classes in Oakland, concluded its third week.

A union spokeswoman said 800 teachers--the district put the number at 500--caught administrators by surprise by entering the building at 9:30 a.m. The occupation prevented many district employees from working, both sides said.

All Floors Occupied

All four floors and the basement were occupied at various times during the day, said Kim Reynolds of the Oakland Education Assn. Teachers began leaving the building by mid-afternoon, a district spokeswoman said.

"Basically, we've pulled out and claimed victory," Reynolds said Friday afternoon. "The teachers are sick of the administration's stalling. . . . It was a mad action. It has shaken up the district."

But Reynolds added that "in terms of progress on the negotiations, I'm not sure how it (Friday's action) will affect it."

The labor organization represents 2,800 of the 3,500 teachers in the 51,000-student school district. From 300 to 400 teachers remain on the job. Only 17,000 students have been attending class.

Bargaining Deadlock

Labor trouble had been brewing in the district since mid-summer, when the contract expired. The walkout occurred Jan. 6 after bargaining deadlocked on salaries and benefits.

Teachers, who now earn an average salary of $26,000, want 8% increases in each year of a three-year contract. The district had been offering an annual pay raise of 6% in the first year of a new contract, and 7% in each of the next two years.

The district itself is suffering financial problems. Audits of its books show that the district faces a $2-million deficit for the 1985-86 school year, according to news reports.

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