Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday

Arizona teachers voted in favor of a strike Thursday night as the educators demanded higher wages and better classroom conditions, KTAR reported. The walkout is scheduled for next Thursday.

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“Seventy-eight percent of the school employees in this state said yes,” Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association said during a news conference.

Next week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be “walk-in” days -- statewide protests held before school -- with Thursday to be the first official walkout day, KTAR reported.

The vote began Tuesday, and 57,000 teachers participated.

Educators have been pressuring Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to increase their wages by 20 percent. Last week, Ducey announced a 20 percent pay raise and pledged $371 million in funding for improvement projects, The Arizona Republic reported.

But teachers said Ducey’s proposal did not meet their demands, adding there was no “sustainable revenue” to fund the project, KTAR reported

Ducey tweeted that “no one wants” to see teachers strike.

“If schools shut down, our kids are the ones who lose out,” the governor wrote on Twitter.

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