Arizona Teachers To Vote On Strike
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has offered teachers a 20 percent pay raise by 2020 after a movement sweeping local schools demanded it.
The first step for Arizona Educators United (AEU), the group behind the statewide walk-ins and rallies, is to take a vote this week to see if teachers want a strike.
“They’ve been definitely telling us, ‘Hey, we’re ready to go any time you want,'" said Tucson teacher Derek Harris, one of the AEU leaders. "But we have to be sure we hear every voice and do it the right way.”
Ducey’s plan is to raise teacher salaries by 9 percent next year, then to 20 percent by 2020. But educators are skeptical because the plan doesn’t include other staff like counselors. And, the funding plan is still to be determined. Harris said after a vote, the group could organize a teacher walkout soon, if the support is there.
Harris said with the Legislature and school ending soon, timing is crucial.
“We’re keeping a very close watch on the Legislature and how this vote goes through to make sure that whatever we do is precisely timed and advantageous,” Harris said.
Harris said there isn’t a strike date set. Organizers will look at votes of support by members of Arizona Educators United this week to see when a walkout could happen.