A news team was robbed at gunpoint and a member of their group shot while on the job covering the Oakland teachers’ strike on Sunday.
The KPIX 5 crew was gathering interviews near the Oakland Library around 5 p.m. last night when two men got out of a car and held up the crew at gunpoint, stealing their camera equipment, the Bay Area CBS affiliate reported. An armed security guard for the crew was shot in the upper leg but appeared to be in stable condition when police and medical officers arrived and took him to the hospital.
The guard told police he fired several shots at the suspects before hitting the ground. As the network reported, police located potential suspects after one entered a nearby hospital with gunshot wounds and the driver of a similar car as the one involved in the robbery was involved in a brief high-speed chase. The Alameda County sheriff’s department told KPIX 5 that a 21 year old man was arrested as the shooting suspect late last night.
Meanwhile, the story the KPIX 5 crew was trying to report on chugs along with another day of tough negotiations. Oakland teachers are currently on the third day of a strike called over poor working conditions and low salaries. According to KPIX 5, negotiations between the Oakland Unified School District and Oakland Education Association have been rough going so far. After meeting for a full day of bargaining on Friday, the two sides cancelled a Saturday meeting before picking things back up on Sunday. However, the two sides only met for an hour before talks were abruptly ended. On Monday, Tony Thurmond, the state superintendent of public instruction who is backed by the California Teachers Association, joined negotiations in hopes of helping the two sides strike a deal, the East Bay Times reported.
The OEA is calling for 12 percent raises over the next three years and for maximum class sizes to be reduced by two students. The district has countered with an 8.5 percent increase over four years—7 percent in retroactive raises and a 1.5 percent bonus—and lowering the class size by one student. Per the East Bay Times, the district contended on Friday and Sunday that it does not have the funds to authorize a 12 percent raise. The OEA responded by pointing to high administrative salaries and funds spent on outside contractors as proof that the money is there if properly budgeted.
The union has told reporters that 95 percent of teachers have joined the picket lines and that just three percent of students were in class on Friday. While this strike has already gone past the one-day mark of the Oakland teachers’ 2010 strike, it still has another three weeks to go before it catches the 26-day strike of 1996. Here’s hoping that teachers get a fair contract before then, and that no more similarly poorly compensated reporters have to take a bullet to tell Oakland residents about it.