UPDATED 8:44 AM PT – Wednesday, April 24, 2019
The president of a teachers union in Arizona is under fire for comments he made at a protest meeting on Sunday.
This comes as a group called ‘Purple for Parents’ said the union is acting as a bully and creating a hostile work environment for educators. The group recently posted a video on Twitter in what appears to be the president — Joe Thomas — telling union liaisons to pressure teachers into wearing their “Red for Ed” protest t-shirts and to take part in walk outs.
A six-day strike last spring ended with a 20-percent raise broken down by a one-percent retroactive increase, followed by nine-percent this school year, five-percent this fall and five-percent in fall 2020.
The union is now claiming the state has been retaliating against them for their strike by introducing various bills targeting them.
#AngryUnionBoss Joe Thomas giving orders to #RedForEd to coerce & intimidate our teachers. Disgusting union bully tactics. Hostile work environment. Teachers are welcome in #PurpleForParents #WalkAway pic.twitter.com/xExUSu8bKD
— • michelle • (@Meeeech_L) April 21, 2019
“If you have people who don’t want to walk out and don’t want to go back down to the Capitol, don’t want to leave their classrooms — they better be out on that walkout,” Thomas urged. He was interviewed for a report earlier in April, where he claimed state lawmakers are not giving schools enough money.
The next action could be a “Red for Ed” May Day rally on May 1, 2019. A similar rally is scheduled at the capitol in North Carolina, where schools have decided to shut down for the day.