Oklahoma state employees consider walk out options

TULSA -- Oklahoma state agency employees are considering joining teachers in exploring work stoppage options in response to low pay and budget cuts.

On Saturday, the Oklahoma Public Employees Association board of directors will meet to discuss plans for state employees to potentially walk out.

“State employees are tired of being ignored and are angry because state leaders have failed to do their job. They’ve failed again to provide a pay raise for state employees and they’ve failed to sufficiently fund core services.” said Sterling Zearley, OPEA executive director. “A state employee’s take-home pay shrinks every year and they are fed up with lawmakers who won’t listen. That’s why we’re looking at work stoppages. Just like teachers, state employees are fed up and ready for action.”

State employees last saw a pay raise authorized by Oklahoma lawmakers in 2008. 

Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest said Thursday teachers are planning a statewide work stoppage on April 2 unless the Legislature raises their salaries for the first time since 2008. Priest says teachers are demanding a $6,000 raise this year and $2,000 in each of the next two years.

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