Teachers plan walk-ins at districts that approved pay raises

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On Monday, several moms passed out red lollipops with red flyers at Hopi Elementary, encouraging other parents to join this week’s walk-ins. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) On Monday, several moms passed out red lollipops with red flyers at Hopi Elementary, encouraging other parents to join this week’s walk-ins. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Arizona Educators United has called on Gov. Doug Ducey to approve 20 percent pay raises for teachers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona Educators United has called on Gov. Doug Ducey to approve 20 percent pay raises for teachers. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The SUSD Governing Board voted last week to boost teacher pay in that district by 3.5 percent next fall. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The SUSD Governing Board voted last week to boost teacher pay in that district by 3.5 percent next fall. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Teachers at schools across Arizona are planning “walk-ins” on Wednesday morning to demand higher pay, including in some districts that recently approved pay raises for educators.

Teachers in the Pendergast Elementary School District and the Scottsdale Unified School District announced plans to take part in the demonstrations, despite board votes to boost their pay between 2 and 7 percent.

[RELATED: Phoenix school district passes resolution to support teachers in 'Red For Ed' movement]

The SUSD Governing Board voted last week to boost teacher pay in that district by 3.5 percent next fall.

[READ MORE: Scottsdale Unified approves 3.5 percent pay bump for teachers next fall]

“It's made teachers angry. It has unified us even more,” said longtime Hopi Elementary teacher Debbie Voris.

Voris said the 3.5 percent raise sounds good on the surface, but she said the raises come with several caveats that will keep overall pay for many educators mostly flat.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Schools in crisis]

“It's not what it seems because we're having to work more days for it. It's not what it seems because our health costs are going up hugely. It's not what it seems because I'm on step 14 or 15, and I've been in this district 28 years,” she said.

[INFOGRAPHIC: How AZ teacher pay compares to other states]

“Steps” were supposed to be annual pay increases, Voris said, but teacher pay in Scottsdale Unified has been frozen several times.

On Monday, several moms passed out red lollipops with red flyers at Hopi Elementary, encouraging other parents to join this week’s walk-ins.

[RELATED: AZ teachers considering strike if school walk-ins don't prompt change in pay]

“We know we need the support of parents and the community to really make a difference to demand change at the Capitol, and so we're hoping this walk-in helps drive that message,” said Stefanie Swiergol, an organizer with the grassroots group ACT Now SUSD.

[RELATED: AZ teachers increase protests and rallies; threat of strike looming]

Arizona Educators United has called on Gov. Doug Ducey to approve 20 percent pay raises for teachers. The governor approved a 1 percent raise last year and is proposing another 1 percent raise for this fall.

[RELATED: Teachers demand Gov. Ducey roll back corporate tax cuts]

Both AEU and the Arizona Education Association said they had not gotten a response from the governor’s office to their request last week to negotiate.

“Nothing from Ducey,” said AEU founder Noah Karvelis in a text message Monday evening.

[RELATED: Arizona teachers demand 20 percent raises during statewide protests]

Karvelis said organizers would closely monitor the turnout at Wednesday’s walk-ins to develop their future plans, which could include a strike.

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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