Teachers union demands $10K raises, increased funding for education, state agencies
OKLAHOMA CITY (KTUL) - The Oklahoma Education Association has laid out its demands for lawmakers to prevent a strike, and the list goes way beyond just teachers.
The state teachers union announced Wednesday that Oklahoma lawmakers have until April 1 to pass a budget with meaningful pay raises for teachers and increased funding for education. If an agreement is not reached before then, teachers will go on strike and schools will begin to close.
But we now know exactly what the union is demanding. They are asking lawmakers to give teachers a $10,000 raise and support staff a $5,000 raise. They are also demanding for the legislature to fully staff state agencies and give state employees a $7,500 raise. Finally, they want new, recurring revenue to fund the services Oklahomans need, such as mental health services, health care and public safety.
The pay raises for teachers and support professionals would cost $740 million over three years. In all, the union's plan would cost nearly $1.5 billion.
The union also wants a 5-percent cost of living increase for retirees, but they say the state can pay for this through the pension system without harming funds or requiring lawmakers to find new money.
The OEA has planned a 'teletown hall' for 7 p.m. Thursday for everyone to learn more about the list of demands. You can dial in at (877) 229-8493. The pin number you'll need is 115828.