ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona teachers group challenges idea that walkout is an illegal strike

Apr 30, 2018, 3:19 PM

PHOENIX — In a letter to the state attorney general, the Arizona Education Association challenged Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas’ assertion that the statewide teacher walkout is an illegal strike.

Jarret Haskovec, general counsel for the AEA, wrote to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Friday to make the case that teachers participating in the walkout are not subject to disciplinary action by the State Board of Education.

“Simply put,” the letter said, “it is up to the employer school district to determine … if a teacher has effectively resigned his or her employment due to job abandonment.

“It is emphatically not the province of the Superintendent or members of the public who may disagree with the goals of the ‘#redfored’ movement or with the walkout to decide whether a given teacher has resigned due to participation in the walkout.”

Before the walkout, which began last Thursday, Douglas warned teachers that they would be taking a risk by not showing up for work.

“It is illegal to strike in Arizona, and by every definition I’ve read, this is a strike,” Douglas told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes last week.

“To resign your position — and one can arguably say walking out on a strike could be resigning your position under the law — that is an actionable, unprofessional action on the part of a teacher. So that can be … anything from a letter of censure to a suspension to a revocation.”

On Friday, the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based conservative think tank, sent a letter to the state’s public school superintendents that also called the walkout “an illegal strike.”

“If the district does not reopen and employees do not return to their duties, parents and students will have a legal cause of action against them,” said the letter, which was signed by Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur.

Haskovec’s letter argued that the teachers are well within their rights.

“Among such rights are the right to express their points of view on matters of public concern and to petition the government,” he wrote.

The walkout extended to its third day Monday despite assurances from Gov. Doug Ducey that a deal with the state Legislature to improve teacher pay and funding had been reached.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Diners eat at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant on May 11, 2023 in Oak Park, Illinois. (Photo by Scot...

David Veenstra

Here are the shops and restaurants Surprise residents want to see the most

The City of Surprise released the results of its 2024 Retail Survey. Here are the shops and restaurants Surprise residents most want to see.

5 minutes ago

An aerial view map shows where a homebuilder bought a former golf course site in Glendale at 55th a...

Angela Gonzales/Phoenix Business Journal

Shuttered Glendale golf course site sold to Denver homebuilder for cash

Richmond American Homes of Arizona Inc. paid $28.64 million for land that was once home to a golf course in Glendale.

50 minutes ago

Live Love is a nonprofit dedicated to improving local communities. (Live Love photos/via Facebook)...

David Veenstra

Chandler approves long-term partnership for new community center development

The city of Chandler reached an agreement with nonprofit Live Love to be able to use a new community center currently being developed. 

11 hours ago

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Jurors don’t have a verdict yet in an Arizona rancher’s trial for fatally shooting a migrant

A jury in southern Arizona is still deliberating in the trial of a rancher charged with fatally shooting an unarmed migrant on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

13 hours ago

During an earnings call on April 18, 2024, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said engineer...

Amy Edelen/Phoenix Business Journal

Wafer production underway at TSMC’s Phoenix factory; Q1 earnings beat expectations

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is making “significant progress” on its north Phoenix site with engineering wafer production already underway.

15 hours ago

Repeat killer sentenced to life in prison after murdering girlfriend...

KTAR.com

Tempe man sentenced to life in prison for murdering girlfriend

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said it sentenced Gary Cox, 60, a repeat killer, to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Arizona teachers group challenges idea that walkout is an illegal strike