Liberation News spoke with teachers on the picket lines Feb. 22, day two of the Oakland teachers’ strike.
Science Teacher at Bunche Academy
I have wanted to be a teacher since I was 16. I’ve been doing it for three years now, and it’s a job I love. I feel like I struggle financially more than any of my friends even though I have a master’s degree and I work really hard. It’s important and that’s why I’m here. I’d like to continue teaching. Also, the kids in Oakland deserve a good education and equitable options.
AFSCME Local 3299 (and mother of Oakland teacher)
It is very important because you have to stand up and speakout, for these educators who have been without a contract and have oversize classes. I gave this guy [her son] copying paper for Christmas and he was ecstatic. They have to use their own money to bring into their classrooms. Downsize these classrooms and pay these teachers what they deserve! It’s a drop in the bucket compared to what some of these people are getting. What’s going on? You don’t want to invest in our future, our children. These are our future council people, our doctors, our future teachers.
Special Day Class, Teacher Young Adult Program
I’m out here to get a livable wage and ask for supports not to be cut but for more nurses, more counselors and not to cut restorative justice and foster youth support. Not to cut services and for smaller class sizes.
It is important that we stand in solidarity to let the city know and the disrict know that we are serious about a livable wage and smaller class sizes and more supports. I work with people with severe disabilities and we need more supports. We need more counselors. We need more OT. We need more everything.