Arizona teachers union, grassroots groups, seek pay talks

April 6, 2018

Arizona teachers and education advocates shouts as they march at the Arizona Capitol highlighting low teacher pay and school funding Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — The association representing Arizona teachers and a grassroots group that has been organizing protests over low teacher pay want to sit down with Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to negotiate.

The Arizona Education Association and Arizona United Education sent a letter to Ducey and leaders of the state Legislature Thursday seeking the talks. They are demanding a 20 percent teacher pay hike and annual raises, higher pay for support staff, a restoration of school funding to 2008 levels and an end to new tax cuts until per-pupil funding reaches the national average.

The governor’s office said he will review the letter and remains focused on passing a budget. Last week, Ducey said he was sticking with his current plan to add a 1 percent raise and restore some previously-cut school funding.

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