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Tucson petition circulating for statewide walkout for educators

Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 21:30:18-04

The Arizona teachers protest over low pay is gaining rapid momentum in our region.  T-U-S-D's Tucson High--  as well as Manzo and Gale Elementary Schools have planned walk-ins this week.       
Now teachers and unions are mulling over more protest options -- as they try to get district buy-in.

Teachers are protesting but not striking over pay. It is against the law for a teacher to abandon a classroom, but it's okay if they get the district's consent.

Lucy LiBosha teaches Math at Catalina High School. She's also a member of the Arizona Federation of Teachers.

She is spearheading the local effort in a statewide initiative to get district buy-in for a Day of Action at the state capitol -- a one-day walkout on May 2.

"This petition is going to be presented to the board prior to May 2nd in which we ask the district to close the doors, shut down for one day and allow us to go in mass to address this issue," she said.

LiBosha is pushing for 75 percent of the teaching staff at each campus to sign the petition. She said, "This would force the district or school to close its doors because they wouldn't be able to operate on less than 25 percent."

But getting district buy-in might not be that difficult if board members sign an Arizona Education Association resolution at Tuesday's board meeting in support of the labor movement. However, the resolution gives no specifics. LiBosha says the resolution is a good first step but doesn't go far enough.

"The time to act is now. We know what works. This is an incredible opportunity to learn from what has been effective in other right-to-work states," she said.

The Sunnyside District has also received the AEA and EAU resolution. The union launched a different petition -- this one online -- for teachers and the community to sign if they support a statewide walkout.
Click here to view the AEA and AEU online petition

The union set a goal of 25,000 signatures. Right now they have more than 14,000.