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School budget woes strain the bonds between Oakland foster youth and their case managers

There are just under 400 foster youth attending Oakland schools, and for many, one person at their school is dedicated to them: their case manager. This counselor provides support and offers one-on-one guidance—academically and for other issues that may arise outside of school. The Oakland Unified School District has four case managers for foster youth, but their jobs were threatened in March, when the school board passed budget cuts eliminating their positions. After a sustained effort by students to push…

Oakland Unified School District plans to eliminate 100 classified workers’ positions

Melvin Phillips has worked in Oakland schools for the last 27 years. He is currently the lead school security officer at Fremont High School and he is one of hundreds of classified employees in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). Classified workers include instructional specialists like classroom support staff and tutors, administrative workers, custodians, security officers, and other school staff. During the Oakland teachers’ strike last month, classified workers joined the teachers on the picket lines in a sympathy strike….

Kaiser Permanente gets into new negotiations with workers’ unions

Representatives from health giant Kaiser Permanente and unions representing its workers returned to the bargaining table late last week to resume contract talks with over 80,000 union members across the nation. Some 63,800 of those members are from California, and they are asking their employer for a renewal of their national agreement, which expired last September. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Union (CKPU) represents 11 labor unions in various states. Five of those unions represent California workers—the International Federation of…

New measure extends the working hours of Oakland’s Public Libraries

A man sat on a bench in the Oakland Main Library branch on a recent overcast Monday and asked for the time. It was 5:34 p.m. “What time do they close?” he asked. The branch used to close at 5:30 p.m on Mondays—but as of April 1, it closes at 8 p.m. The man settled into the bench and said he might stick around longer. For the first time in 15 years, Oakland Public Library staffers have extended their hours…

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