Pro-Business Leader Calls Teachers Union ‘Cry Babies’

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The head of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry walked back on comments Friday describing teachers’ unions as a “bunch of crybabies.”

President and CEO Glenn Hamer reportedly called teachers “crybabies” when discussing the reasons unions should support reforms in the state legislature.

“It’s amazing to me that the teachers unions are out there like a bunch of crybabies screaming about the difficulty of getting additional pay to teachers,” Hamer said, according to the Yellow Sheet Report.

Following backlash from some local press and the Arizona Education Association, Hamer clarified that he was not criticizing the teachers, but rather the union. The comments were directed at the union for supporting a statewide minimum wage increase, and not towards the individual teachers, Hamer explained to The Associated Press.

Hamer has served as the President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2006. He served previously as chief of staff to Congressman Matt Salmon and was executive director of the Grand Canyon state’s GOP.

The Chamber of Commerce has been critical of ballot measure proposition 206, which would raise the minimum wage to $10 in 2017, and then incrementally to $12 by 2020. The measure, which was approved by voters in November, also created a right to paid sick time off.

Pro-business groups, including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, filed litigation to overturn Prop. 206 in December, arguing that the measure adds new costs to taxpayers without adding an additional revenue source. The plaintiffs also argue that the measure was not a single-subject initiative.

Arizona teachers are the lowest paid in the country, according to a recent report by the Arizona Republic.

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