Oakland Unified, teachers union reach tentative agreement on safety plan

Teachers at Garfield Elementary in Oakland stayed home earlier this month to protest working conditions around COVID safety.

Potentially averting a strike and following multiple protests by students and staff, Oakland Unified and its teachers union, the Oakland Education Association, reached a tentative agreement Monday evening for additional safety measures in light of the omicron surge.

The district has agreed to provide weekly Covid testing access for all students and staff at every school site, to make KN95 and other high-quality masks available to all students and staff, to provide covered outdoor eating spaces at all school sites and to provide baseline Covid testing access to all students and staff prior to the return from spring break. The district will also work to expand regional testing hub evening hours in times of high positivity rates at the district.

“This deal will allow the district to continue upholding one of the most robust school district Covid protection systems in the state of California,” district officials said in a news release.

Oakland Education Association members must still vote to approve the tentative agreement, and the district’s school board must ratify it.

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