Capitol Views: Teacher strike chatter persists

As the Senate attempts to move forward with budget negotiations ahead of a tentative regular session adjournment of May 18, give or take a few days, teachers are being surveyed about striking over their state pay as their unions turn up the heat on lawmakers. While the sincere political threats have so far been held at bay, the issue is bound to start trending more heavily sooner than later in the halls of the Capitol.

LaPolitics reported two weeks that the Louisiana Federation of Teachers has been actively polling educators about how to best address funding issues like pay and that a statewide strike was among the options provided. With annual teacher salaries averaging $49,700 per head, which is below the southern arithmetic mean and on the lower end of national rankings, supporters believe the survey is warranted.

The Louisiana Association of Educators, for its part, has also been throwing strong words at state lawmakers. Ignoring falling wages is not acceptable, LAE members were told by union leaders in the outfit’s Capitol Connection newsletter. “The longer legislators kick the can down the road, the worse it’s going to get,” LAE officials wrote in a recent newsletter, later adding, “We foresee a special session focused on funding happening this May. This will be the last chance for our legislators to step up, show leadership, and fix the budget”…


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