Oakland Teachers Strike For Pay Raise, Better Work Conditions

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Oakland Teachers Strike For Pay Raise, Better Work Conditions
The Oakland Unified School District serves 36,000 students at 86 schools.
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Teachers in Oakland, California, went on strike Thursday.

The president of the Oakland Education Association said teachers' current salaries aren't even enough for them to live in the Oakland area. The association is asking for a 12 percent salary increase over three years. Teachers also want smaller class sizes and more school counselors and nurses.

There's a problem, though: The school district says it's already strapped and making over $20 million in cutbacks. It initially offered teachers 5 percent raises over three years, but raised that to 7 percent, including a 1.5 percent bonus, over four years. The teachers' union has rejected both offers. 

The Oakland Unified School District serves more than 36,000 students at 86 schools. District officials said schools will remain open despite the strike, staffed by non-union employees and substitute teachers. A district spokesman said negotiations will resume Friday.

Teachers in Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago and West Virginia have also gone on strike this year. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.