Arizona Teachers to Vote on Walkout; Skeptical on Governor’s Plan

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Arizona Educators United Demands Wage Increase
Credits: ArizonaEdUnited/Maggie Martinez/Twitter

Arizona Teachers across the state will hold a vote on whether to hold a walkout to demand more funding for education. They remain skeptical about Governor Doug Ducey’s proposal to increase teachers’ wages by 20% by school year 2020.

On Thursday, Gov. Ducey announced his plan after Arizona teachers held walk-in rallies before school and threatened a walkout. Teachers and students at over 1,100 schools statewide participated in the walk-ins. Organizers for the RedforEd movement estimated that over 100,000 people supported the activity.

In a video posted on Facebook, Joe Thomas, the president of Arizona Education Association, said they will hold the vote this week. The governor previously rejected their demand for a 20% wage hike.

According to Thomas, the Gov. Ducey’s plan fails to meet the demand of the RedforEd movement. He said the governor’s plan “fall far short” and “lacks a lot of details.” He emphasized that they have no idea where the significant amount of money will come from.

Gov. Ducey’s proposal does not meet the demand of Arizona teaches

“Sadly, the plan does not meet the needs of our students. We have seen over the last ten years, a billion dollars cut from our schools. You all know what exactly that looks like—empty supply cabinets, class sizes that are far too large…Arizona has to change this…,”said Thomas.

He added, “We looked at the governor’s plan. We evaluated it for a few days and we just don’t see that it offers a promise for our students they truly deserve. So, we are not supporting it at this time.”

Furthermore, Thomas emphasized that it is critical for every Arizona teacher to express their position on the matter. They need to decide whether to accept the governor’s proposal or to raise the stakes.

On Thursday, Noah Karvalis, organizer of the RedforEd movement and Arizona Educators United, commented that Gov. Ducey’s plan raises a lot of questions. Educators should be part of the discussions on the issue.

Arizona teachers are demanding the state government to restore the $1 billion funding for education and provide competitive salary not only for teachers but also to all support staff.