Okla. And Ky. Teachers Stage Walkout To Protest Low Wages, Potential Benefit Cuts - FbiCables Network | The News that Shapes World Opinion

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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Okla. And Ky. Teachers Stage Walkout To Protest Low Wages, Potential Benefit Cuts

Tens of thousands of public school teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky are walking out Monday to attend rallies at their respective state capitols.
In Oklahoma, a state ranked fiftieth in teacher pay, more than 40,000 educators plan to advocate for smaller class sizes, less teacher turnover, and higher wages.
The crowd cheers during a teacher rally at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 2, 2018. Teachers were holding separate protests in Oklahoma and Kentucky on Monday to voice dissatisfaction with issues like pay and pensions. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Despite new legislation giving Oklahoma teachers a $6,100 pay raise, educators are still unsatisified. They argue it does not address funding shortages.
Many Oklahoma educators say they’re prepared to fight for their students, and will stand unified.
“I have to work multiple jobs, but those kids, they don’t have a choice, ” said Oklahoma teacher Hannah Fernandez. “It’s probably the hardest thing to make this decision to walk out, but at the end of the day us being united, us doing this together — it’s for the students and that’s all that matters.”
Meanwhile, Kentucky teachers are advocating for a wage increase and better classroom resources similar to teachers in Oklahoma, but will also be protesting a controversial bill proposing a reduction of pension benefits.
Thousands of teachers gather during a rally for education funding and changes to their pension system Monday, April 2, 2018, at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. (Alex Slitz/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
On Friday, hundreds of teachers called in sick to protest the legislation.
“Well, teachers in the state of Kentucky do not have access to Social Security when we retire, even if we had paid into that system prior to becoming teachers, so this is our only means of support for ourselves when we are of old age,” explained Kentucky teacher Angie Buschle.
These strikes follow a similar nine day protest in West Virginia last month, which resulted in a five-percent pay raise — making it the state’s first raise for teachers in nearly four years.

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