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Old 03-31-2006, 07:29 PM   #8
galt john galt
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Oakland Teachers Plan One-Day Work Stoppage

POSTED: 2:24 pm PST March 30, 2006

OAKLAND -- The union representing 3,100 Oakland public school teachers announced Thursday that teachers will hold a one-day strike on April 20 if contract talks don't lead to a settlement before then.

Ben Visnick, the president of the Oakland Education Association, also said there will be a large rally against state administrator Randolph Ward, who has run the financially troubled Oakland Unified School District for three years, at 4 p.m. on April 5.

Visnick said, "The administration doesn't listen too well so we have to set limits and deadlines" in the effort to reach a contract agreement.

Visnick said he also has been talking almost daily with the head of the union representing San Francisco public school teachers about the possibility of coordinating a work action with them.

"Both unions would be stronger if we go on strike together," Visnick said.

He said, "There's a possibility of a joint San Francisco-Oakland strike. We hope it doesn't happen but that is a possibility."

Visnick said Oakland teacher union leaders met with the school district informally Wednesday night but no further talks are scheduled at this time.

He said the key issues in the contract talks, which have lasted almost two years, are salaries and health care benefits.

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