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OUSD and Oakland Education Association Reach Tentative Agreement on COVID Safety Measures

Oakland – Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Education Association (OEA), the teachers’ union, successfully hammered out another Tentative Agreement on Monday evening, January 24. The Agreement is the tenth Memorandum of Understanding between the Union and the District since the start of the pandemic. The deal tentatively resolves the differences between the District and the Union.

The main sticking points on the path to reaching a deal were COVID testing availability, availability of high quality masks, and covered spaces for nutrition breaks. The Agreement includes resolutions of those matters as follows:

  • The District will provide weekly COVID testing access for all students and staff consistent with CDPH guidance at all sites. When there are periods of limited supply and/or bandwidth priority will be reserved for individuals with known exposures, ahead of asymptomatic testing at school sites. 
  • The District will work to expand regional testing hub evening hours during periods of high positivity rates in the District. These hubs will continue to offer PCR testing in addition to rapid antigen testing.
  • The District will provide baseline COVID testing access to all students and staff prior to a return from Spring Break. Families will be instructed to complete health screening prior to return from Spring Break. PCR testing will be available for symptomatic staff and students.
  • The District will provide all sites with the proper amount of covered eating spaces for students to enjoy lunch outdoors in the shade. The spaces will consist of tables and umbrellas, and the District will inform the Union of any delivery problems that arise because of supply line issues.
  • Large assemblies will be conducted outdoors whenever possible, and in every interior space, there will be open windows if possible, and proper ventilation and air purification.
  • The District will continue to make high quality masks such as KN95 masks available to all students and staff, and will continue to encourage students to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

This deal will allow the District to continue upholding one of the most robust school district COVID protection systems in the state of California, and the District’s leadership team is pleased to have reached the Agreement. OUSD thanks the OEA bargaining team for working so hard at the table over the past three days and looks forward to our continued partnership working in support of the young people of Oakland.

OEA members are expected to vote on the Tentative Agreement in the coming days, and the Board of Education will then be expected to vote to ratify it in the days that follow.

About the Oakland Unified School District

In California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 80 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success.

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