After a successful unofficial strike in West Virginia, educators in Kentucky walked out on Friday and Oklahoma is poised to follow suit
On Easter Sunday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, those not found in the church could be found touring the Woody Guthrie center downtown. Easter weekend is a time for families and this weekend Oklahomas have one thing on their mind: on Monday, teachers in over 100 school districts in Oklahoma are poised to go on strike demanding higher pay.
America is poised to see a wildcat strike wave not seen since the days of the Great Depression when the Oklahoma native Woody Guthrie toured the country, writing songs like This Land is Your Land and Union Maid, inspired by the role of women in a 1940 Oklahoma oil workers strike.
Guthries message was not lost on the people touring his museum on Sunday.
I think today we forget where we come from and I think probably take too much for granted, said Howard Bowling as he toured the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with his wife and adult children. I dont think people realize the sacrifices that were made.
Woody Guthrie, who wrote Union Maid, inspired by an Oklahoma strike. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images The strike comes at a turning point for teachers across Americas heartland.
On Friday, teachers in Kentucky went out on illegal wildcat strikes in more than 25 counties against the wishes of union leaders to protest against draconian changes to the states pensions plan.
The measures passed by the Kentucky legislature last week would raise the eligibility age before teachers can qualify for their pensions, bar future teachers from enjoying traditional pensions in favor of cash balance plans, and even allow lawmakers to unilaterally reduce teachers pension plans in violation of previously negotiated collective bargaining agreements.
The strikers have been buoyed by a According to data provided by the National Education Association (NEA), teachers make $45,276, nearly $13,077 below the nationwide average of $58,353 and well below the nationwide high of New York at $79,152.
The teachers are planning to go out on strike despite the state legislature passing a raise equal to an