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Crybabies - Or Outcry

Arizona Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Glenn Hamer said he didn't criticize Arizona teachers but rather the teacher unions for supporting the passage of a statewide minimum wage increase.

Hamer called teachers' unions "a bunch of crybabies" for complaining about teacher pay while also supporting the minimum wage increase, which Hamer says takes money out of classrooms.

Untrue. Alternate Facts. Lies. What has decimated the Arizona General Fund? Corporation tax credits, school vouchers, tax loopholes for giant national businesses – that is what is starving our general fund – not decent wages for a hardworking labor force.

We want students who have parents who can earn a living, and pay for shelter, food and a safe environment so that students can learn. Crying out? Yes.

And we, AEA-Retired members – are not afraid to add our votes to that outcry – We support our public education. We support the minimum wage. We do not support those who would deny that minimum wage to the many women and men who are retired educators who must go back into the work force in order to supplement their pensions. We are not afraid to call out the real crybabies: politicians who give away the taxes to giant business, private school parents, and who take tax support from the warp and woof of this state: labor.

Wake up, wipe your nose, Mr. & Mrs. Legislator, because you are impacting our wages, our children and grandchildren and if there is one age group that will remember at the ballot box what you do – it is we, the 2,200+ members of AEA-Retired, and our 1000 NEA-Retired colleagues who have moved here to retire. We are passionate about education. We are passionate about labor.

Too many educators have been denied competitive, professional pay for too long. Attracting and retaining qualified school staff -- K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, and education support professionals (ESPs) -- requires salaries that are competitive with those in comparable professions.

Low teacher pay comes at a high cost for schools and kids, who lose good teachers to better-paying professions. Some 20 percent of new public school teachers leave the profession by the end of the first year, and almost half leave within five years.

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