“We cannot — no, we will not allow our students to go without any longer,” Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said according to TulsaWorld. “If the Legislature doesn’t pass $6,000 teacher pay raises and necessary revenue to pay for them . . . OEA is calling on every Oklahoma teacher to leave their classroom and come to the Capitol.”
Oklahoma's teachers haven't received a raise in ten years, according to Education Week.
In total, the state teachers union is seeking a $10,000 raise for teachers. They would receive $6,000 in the first year and $2,000 more for each of the following two years.
If the union is not satisfied with an agreement by April 2, the teachers will strike.
The strong stance shows a confidence and strength that many feared to be lacking from union groups. Strikes — one of the most powerful tools in the union's repertoire — have helped fuel progress for workers for generations, but their power had been waning in recent decades.
With West Virginia teachers' recent success — even in the face of an anti-strike law — teachers across the nation are feeling emboldened.