Anger grows over union effort to sabotage Oklahoma teachers strike
14 April 2018
Oklahoma teachers have reacted defiantly to the Oklahoma Education Association’s (OEA) call to end their two-week strike. Thousands of teachers and their supporters converged on the state capitol Friday, the day after the union urged them to return to their classrooms.
After being given the green light by the OEA to force teachers back to work, school districts across the state, including the largest in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Broken Arrow, announced Friday that they were instructing teachers to return to work Monday.
The militant mood of teachers was spelled on the signs they were carrying Friday, including, “OEA doesn’t speak for me,” “The movement didn’t start with the OEA and won’t end with the OEA,” and “We’re not leaving.” Outside and inside the capitol, teachers held impromptu meetings to discuss how to sustain their walkout next week.
“The unions don’t want a popular outcry and they are trying to sabotage this struggle,” Misty, a young teacher from the Oklahoma City area, told the World Socialist Web Site. “Teachers in Louisiana and other states are looking for a way to fight, and they should be brought into this. The unions and the media don’t want teachers in the rest of the country to know about our fight in Oklahoma, and they don’t want us to know what is happening across the US.”
The teachers walked out on April 2 to demand improved wages and the restoration of school funding following decades of budget cuts. The strike, which was initiated by rank-and-file teachers using social media,…