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Arizona educators begin strike vote this week, despite Governor Ducey's raise plan

Posted at 1:41 PM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 20:44:52-04

Arizona educators will be receiving paper ballots beginning Tuesday to vote on a strike. 

Derek Harris, a lead organizer for Arizona Educators United, says the ballots will be pushed out Monday and every school employee will answer a question regarding if they want a walkout. 

He says voting will take place Tuesday-Thursday and then decide their next step. 

This comes after Governor Doug Ducey discussed how to pay for teacher raises. His plan is a 20% raise for Arizona teachers by the start of the 2020 school year. The plan includes a nine percent increase in funding this year in addition to the one percent raise already coming. Then will add a five percent raise each year for two years after that. 

Harris, as well as Tucson Education Association President Jason Freed believe this is a step in the right direction but not enough as the governor didn't address their other demands. 

Harris says those other demands include a 20% raise for all classified staff, no new tax cuts until school spending reaches the national average, a return to 2008 school funding levels, and a series of yearly raises that can be earned from everyone in the profession. 

"There is a number of individuals who are part of the education process and so if we are going to look at raises we are going to be looking at raises for everybody," said Freed. "Not just teachers."

Tucson Unified School District's superintendent is scheduled to make a comment on the governor's plan tomorrow morning and will address how this will affect the district. 

Amphi teachers and staff will gather for "Amphi Stand Out" tomorrow from 4-7 p.m. along Oracle Road to support the Red for Ed movement. 

Harris says the Red for Ed movement is continuing as state walk-ins are scheduled for Wednesday morning.