Could teachers in Arizona go on strike?

On Monday, several hundred teachers took to the street to drive the message home they're underpaid and need a raise. On Tuesday, the head of the Arizona Education Association says teachers may go on strike, if the governor and legislature don't pay them more money.

Teachers in Arizona have been inspired by what happened in West Virginia, which, like Arizona, is a state with a GOP politician as governor, and republicans in the majority in the state legislature. Teachers there walked out and won a 5% raise, and some believe it could happen here.

"What is the average salary for starting teacher in Arizona? $34,500 statewide," said Joe Thomas with Arizona Education Association. "We track that, and how do we rate compared to other states? Dead last."

Teachers, meanwhile, feeling the pinch.

"I taught for 12 years would have loved to have gone back to teaching," said Raquel Mamani with Save Our Schools Arizona. "After I had my kids, it would have cost me money. I wouldn't have been able to make it unless we had a second income, so I stayed out."

The teachers' union wants raises for teachers to put Arizona on the same level as other states.

"I hope it doesn't come to a teacher's strike, but we need more than a 5% raise to be competitive with states around us," said said Thomas. "We need a 11 or 12% raise. I don't know if that is in one year or in multiple years."

The next step: waiting for the governor and the state legislature, and if there isn't a serious bump in teacher salaries, there could be a strike.

Teachers say salaries have been flat or barely moved upward for years and that's got to change. They say they don't want to strike but will if they have to.

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