Professional mediator speaks on how teacher walkout situation could be resolved

As Arizona gets closer to the planned teacher walkout on Thursday, FOX 10 Phoenix is hearing from a professional mediator on how a situation like this one could be resolved.

Even with an unprecedented teacher walk out anticipated in less than 24 hours, professional mediator Michael Aurit says a common ground could still be in reach for state leaders and educators, and could be even closer under one condition.

"It really seems like it's time to put a man or woman in the middle who is neutral," said Aurit.

That would be a mediator.

It's not likely heard of being used at the government level, but for this situation, where lawmakers embroiled in a funding dispute with educators, Aurit says mediation could be refining.

"I think there's an opportunity to really change the tone, change the language, rhetoric that's been used on both sides," said Aurit.

What an unbiased mediator would do is to bring both parties together and seek, with a nonpartisan view, that they move towards.

Even with Gov. Ducey proposing the raise and additional funding that he did earlier this month, Aurit suggests why educators may not have backed down.

"It's really kind of a pointless exercise in rhetoric without the hard facts to back up the agreements that are being reached," said Aurit.

With a mediator, Aurit says, there's a chance to solidify details, and really create a network of trust, something educators have not found in Gov. Ducey or lawmakers. Aurit pointing to direct communication with representatives for the teachers from Gov. Ducey as a way to move towards positive change.

"I don't see how communicating with teachers could be a negative at this point," said Aurit.

"We're gonna continue to talk directly to teachers, but the time now is talk to the decision makers on the budget," said Gov. Ducey.