As DSA elected officials around the country, we congratulate the teachers who have won their strikes in Oakland, following successful strikes in Los Angeles, West Virginia, Chicago, and Denver. What’s more, we stand with the workers ready to strike at Kentucky Schools, Stop and Shop, Wabtec, and unfair workplaces everywhere.
95% of Oakland teachers voted in favor of authorizing a strike, in an election with 84% turnout. 95% showed up on the picket lines. Few other movements have as strong a mandate, and that’s because when working people come together to fight, we win. Supporting mass movements like the teachers strike is one of the best steps we can take towards bringing together the working class to realize our power and take back the value that we, not the administrators and bosses, create.
OUSD told us that they didn’t have enough money to pay teachers and provide proper school services, but the moment teachers authorized a strike, they found the money for “Emergency Temporary Teacher” jobs, aka scabs, to post on Craigslist, paid twice the salary of entry-level teachers. After the strike, they more than doubled their “final offer” for teacher pay. What’s more, charter schools keep invading public schools in the bay, as they do in so many school districts across the country where public schools face further and further cutbacks. This charter school growth benefits the capitalists exploiting the system, not teachers like those of Chicago charter schools, who went on strike because management was siphoning up the public money they need for a living wage and basic school support for their personal profit. We stand with them too.
We commend the Oakland city council for standing in solidarity with the strikes, as is the responsibility of elected leaders. We hope to see our fellow politicians across the country on the picket lines too. As elected officials, we should already know what our schools need, and that’s a living wage for teachers, support staff to make sure our students thrive, and a reversal of the deteriorating conditions of school facilities. We know that the reason for this decline is not a lack of funds, but the greed of charter school executives, who seek to line their pockets from the privatization of our schools and cut their own taxes to protect those profits further. We pledge to do everything we can to empower teachers in their fight to defend our public schools at home and urge elected officials around the country to support teachers, students, and working people, not the wealthy few.
Adam Broad, Vernon Township Trustee, Lake County, IL
Amy Perruso, Hawaii State House
Anita Prizio, Allegheny County Councilmember, PA
Ben Ewen-Campen, Somerville City Council, MA
Charles Decker, New Haven, CT Adlerman, Ward 9
Dylan Parker, Mayor Pro Tem, 5th Ward Alderman, Rock Island, IL
Edwin Vargas, State Representative, CT
Elizabeth Fiedler, State Representative, PA
Erik Hatlestad, City Council, New London, MN
Gabriel Acevero, Maryland House of Delegates
Justin Cummings, Ph.D., Vice Mayor City of Santa Cruz, CA
Julia Salazar, State Senate, NY
Julie Gonzales, Colorado Senate District 34
Joel Sipress, City Council, Duluth, MN
Mark King, State Representative, NH
Michelle Fecteau, Board of Education, MI
Mike Connolly, State Representative, Cambridge and Somerville, MA
Rep. Mike Sylvester, State Representative, ME
Ruth Buffalo, ND House of Representatives
Sara Innamorato, Pennsylvania State Representative, 21st District
Scott Alberts, Treasurer, Upper Darby, PA
Seema Singh-Perez, Knoxville City Councilwoman
Tristan Rader, Councilmember At-Large, Lakewood, OH
Vaughn Stewart, Maryland House of Delegates
Vanessa Agudelo, Peekskill City Council, NY
JT Scott, Somerville Alderman, MA
and the DSA National Electoral Committee