Education

Arizona Teachers Offered 20 Percent Pay Raise, Decide To Strike Anyway

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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Arizona teachers elected to mimic educators in three other states in striking for higher pay and voted for a walkout on April 26, CNN reported.

The Arizona Education Association (AEA), a labor union representing Arizona’s education sector, announced the outcome of the vote 57,000 union members participated in Thursday. Seventy-eight percent voted in favor of the strike.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey attempted to preempt the strike by promising to raise teachers’ salaries by 20 percent in two years. Ducey, a Republican, rolled out his plan last week and it has yet to be approved by the state legislature. Arizona teachers rejected supporting the proposal over cuts the plan made in other areas of state funding such as to Arizona’s Medicaid program, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The Arizona strike comes on the heels of walkouts in Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia. Organizers are setting up similar protests in roughly a dozen other states, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Strikes have happened largely in states where teacher salaries haven’t recovered since the Great Recession hit the U.S. about a decade ago. States budgets have been tight trying to cover the cost of increasingly expensive Medicaid and retirement programs, according to WSJ.

“The worst possible thing we could do is not take action right now,” Noah Karvelis, an organizer for Arizona Educators United and the state’s Red for Ed campaign. (RELATED: Democrat Operative Leading Teacher Protests In Arizona)

The strike’s organizers are giving parents a week to prepare for schools across the state that could effectively shut down when the teachers protest outside the state’s Capitol on Thursday.

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