'Pay Not Peanuts:' Arizona Educators Demand Higher Pay Raises

By Carrie Jung, Mark Brodie
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 6:55am
Updated: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 3:04pm
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(Photo by Carrie Jung - KJZZ)
Organizers brought bags of peanuts to the protest to deliver to Gov. Ducey.
(Photo by Carrie Jung - KJZZ)
Several dozen protesters gathered in the state Capitol rose garden to demand higher pay in July 2017.

Public school teachers and activists gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to protest the double-digit pay increases some of Gov. Doug Ducey’s staff reportedly received this year. They said educators deserve big raises, too.

The rally was organized by the Arizona Parent Teacher Association. Group leaders said it’s insulting that state public school teachers were awarded only a 1 percent pay increase in this year’s budget.

"I was furious last week when that news broke that Ducey was giving double-digit raises to his staff," said Theresa Ratti, a teacher at Westwood High School and one of several dozen protesters to march at the rose garden. "I’m like, 'Wait, they’re better than teachers are?' That was my frustration."

The demonstration comes just days after Arizona’s teachers union called for a 20 percent raise for public school teachers and promised to put the issue before voters in the 2018 or 2020 election.

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