Category Archives: Labor

Governor Ducey disses Arizona teachers, inviting a teacher walkout

Reminder: Today is another #RedForEd Wednesday, wear red in support of Arizona’s embattled teachers.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports, Ducey to meet with ‘decision makers,’ not teachers to talk about salaries:

Gov. Doug Ducey won’t meet with the leaders of two teacher groups to talk about salaries and related issues even as they are taking the first steps toward a walkout.

The governor’s statement comes less than a week after a request by Noah Karvelis of Arizona Educators United and Joe Thomas of the Arizona Education Association “to begin a negotiation process to resolve the #RedForEd demands.”

That includes not just the 20-percent salary increase to compete with neighboring states but also restoring education funding levels to where they were a decade ago.

It also comes as Arizona Educators United, a grassroots group of teachers, is working with its member teachers to set a date for walkout to get the attention of Ducey and legislators and show they are serious.

Ducey, in essence, has written off both groups as irrelevant to his own education funding plans.

“We’re meeting with the decision makers,” the governor said, meaning school superintendents and other officials. “And we’re going to continue to meet with the decision makers.”

Continue reading

March jobs report well below expectations, trade war trouble on the horizon

Economic forecasters expected another strong jobs report today. That didn’t happen. Steve Benen has the March jobs report. Following February’s highs, job growth slowed down in March:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the economy added 103,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1% for the sixth consecutive month. In both cases, forecasts projected better progress, making today’s report disappointing.

Making matters slightly worse, the revisions for the two previous months – January and February – point to a combined loss of 50,000 jobs as compared to previous BLS reports.

MarchJobs
Continue reading

The red-state teacher rebellions are spreading

I posted about the Oklahoma teacher walkout scheduled for Monday. Oklahoma teachers to strike on Monday; Arizona teachers are considering a strike.

The red-state teacher rebellions are spreading. (h/t Axios.com for the caption). Kentucky teachers skip work after lawmakers pass pension reform attached to sewage bill:

The proposed changes to pension reform had been a part of Senate Bill 1. But in a surprise move, elements of Senate Bill 1 were tucked into another bill, Senate Bill 151, which had been about sewage services. The new, nearly 300-page Senate Bill 151 then passed both the state House and Senate.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin supports the bill and tweeted Thursday night that public workers owe “a deep debt of gratitude” to the lawmakers who voted in favor.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 12.59.54 PM

Kentucky’s Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat tweeted: “This is government at its worst.” This morning, he announced he would “will file suit to stop SB 151.”

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 1.01.28 PM

In Kentucky, teachers have not fought for a pay raise but loudly called on the Legislature not to touch their retirement benefits. The response to passage of the pension bill was swift.

Continue reading

#DoubleTalkDucey to Arizona Teachers: ‘Drop Dead’

Our GOP-friendly media in Arizona are far too supplicant to our GOP-run state government, and lacking in imaginative headlines.

Back in the day, they might have covered Governor Ducey’s response to the demands of Arizona teachers the way that the New York Daily News covered President Gerald Ford’s response to New York City: ‘Drop Dead.”

Here in Arizona today, this is the best we get. Ducey: ‘No’ to major teacher raises, ‘yes’ to more tax cuts:

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that teachers aren’t going to get the 20 percent pay hike they are demanding — not now and not in the foreseeable future. Drop dead!

And he intends to continue proposing further cuts in state taxes even as teachers say without substantially more money they may have no choice but to strike.

Speaking to reporters a day after a rally brought more than 2,000 teachers and supporters to the Capitol, Ducey said he’s doing the best he can.

His “best” is not nearly good enough. And it’s not in good faith.

Continue reading

Oklahoma teachers to strike on Monday; Arizona teachers are considering a strike

In February, West Virginia school teachers organized a spontaneous statewide teacher strike to get the state legislature to move on teacher salary increases and to address their medical insurance plan.

Next up appears to be Oklahoma teachers going out on strike. Oklahoma approves teacher pay increase but union says it’s not enough, walkout still on:

Oklahoma legislators approved a measure including a $6,100 pay raise for teachers on Wednesday, but the state teacher’s union says the bill doesn’t go far enough and plans to walk out Monday.

House Bill 1010XX, which was described as “the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state” passed both the state House and Senate this week. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she would sign the bill.

* * *

For weeks, Oklahoma teachers have been considering a walkout over what they say is their breaking point over pay and education funding. The state ranks 49th in the nation in teacher salaries, according to the National Education Association, in a list that includes Washington, D.C. Mississippi and South Dakota rank lower.

Inspired by the West Virginia strike in which teachers demanded and got a pay raise from state leaders earlier this month, similar efforts have taken off in Oklahoma and Arizona.

The Oklahoma Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union that represents nearly 40,000 members and school personnel, called the passage of the bill “a truly historic moment,” but one that remains “incomplete” according to its president Alicia Priest.

Teachers and school staff will walk off their jobs on Monday and descend on the state Capitol, she said in video comments posted on Facebook.

“While this is major progress, this investment alone will not undo a decade of neglect,” she said. “Lawmakers have left funding on the table that could be used immediately to help Oklahoma students.”

Continue reading

Arizona Day of Action for Education at the Capitol Today

Day of Action

In the wake of teacher strikes across the nation, local grassroots groups Save our Schools Arizona, Arizona Educators United as well as Arizona PTA will hold a Day of Action for Education” March 28 at the Arizona Capitol and at locations across the state.

The Day of Action will call upon thousands of education advocates to gather at the State Capitol, in Tucson and in Northern Arizona to send a loud and clear message that Arizona voters have had enough of bad education policy by state lawmakers.

Please Register for the Phoenix Day of Action here:
https://secure.everyaction.com/5o47BDS680OlQ3TEiR-_Qg2

Save our Schools Arizona is the grassroots group responsible for referring Proposition 305 Empowerment Scholarship Account (voucher) expansion to the November 2018 ballot. Arizona Educators United is the grassroots coalition responsible for organizing the statewide #RedForEd event on March 7. Both groups are exclusively volunteer Arizona residents who organized in response to bad education policy in Arizona. Arizona PTA was formed in 1906 to advocate for public education and children’s welfare; it is also volunteer led.

“We want to ensure students have access to highly qualified and experienced teachers, that educators are compensated fairly, and to improve the educational environment. These are all things Arizonans want in order to improve our state’s future,” said Noah Kavelis, a public school teacher and lead organizer of Arizona Educators United.

WHAT: Arizona Day of Action
WHY: Arizona teachers, school professionals, parents, retirees and business leaders are fed up with bad education policy and have united to demand better.
WHO: Save our Schools Arizona, Arizona Educators United and Arizona PTA
WHEN: March 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
WHERE: Arizona State Capitol.

Arizona teachers leading #RedForEd movement will give demands at Wednesday rally.