The Teacher Strikes and Protests Planned for 2019
While 2018 was a pivotal year for teacher activism, with large-scale strikes in six states and more protests around the country, there's been some question as to whether momentum would continue into the new year.
So far, though, we know at least a few places where labor actions are likely to happen:
- Los Angeles teachers plan to go on strike Jan. 10. After 20 months of contract disputes with the district, the union—which was seeking a 6.5 percent pay raise retroactive to July 2016, class-size reductions, fewer required tests, and more support staff—announced teachers would stop work a few days after students return from winter break. The district's final offer included a smaller raise and class-size reductions in some schools, which the union called "insulting." This will be the first strike in the district in 30 years.
- Teachers in Oakland, Calif., are also preparing for a possible strike. On Dec. 19, the union's executive board gave the president the power to call a strike-authorization vote, which is the first step in the process. Oakland teachers have been working without a contract since July 2017 and are asking for a 12 percent salary increase over three years and class-size reductions, reports EdSource. The district offered a 5 percent increase and some class-size reductions. Negotiations are ongoing, but according to the Oakland Education Association website, the union is planning a rally for Jan. 12 (a Saturday) and has collected more than $11,000 for a strike fund. And dozens of teachers at Oakland High School already held a wildcat strike, not sanctioned by the union, several weeks ago, KQED reported. Oakland has just 2,300 teachers, compared to Los Angeles' approximately 25,000.
Ms. Rozó is fighting for the schools her students deserve. We are Oakland Teachers. We are #strikeready.— Oakland Education Association (@OaklandEA) December 24, 2018
Join us on January 12th, Frank Ogawa Plaza at 12pm for the East Bay Rally To Fund Public Education.#Unite4OaklandKids #WeAreOEA #WeAreCTA pic.twitter.com/o9YUnXzZyr
- In Virginia, teachers across the state are planning a one-day rally for Jan. 28. The grassroots group "Virginia Educators United" is organizing the gathering, and if enough teachers participate it could shut down schools. Educators there are asking for pay to increase to the national average and for better pay for support professionals. Virginia is home to about 90,000 teachers.
We'll keep an eye on other places the #RedforEd movement may be spreading in the early months of 2019 as well, so check back here for updates.