State employees will no longer participate in walkout at the Capitol

Oklahoma teachers pack the Capitol rotunda April 3 on the second day of the teacher walkout. (KOKH/Shardaa Gray)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - The union representing state employees says its members will no longer participate in a walkout at the Capitol.

The Oklahoma Public Employees Association reports that members have ceased participation in the walkout because "focus has shifted from funding all core services to only funding common education." OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley said that state employees have been at the Capitol since the beginning of the walkout on April 2.

"Recent discussions focus solely on education funding & exclude public safety, veterans’ services, mental health, protective services or any other state agency services,” Zearley said.

The OPEA plans to continue pushing for a state employee pay raise of $2,500 and restored funding to agencies.

"State employees tell us the pay raise passed this session will not even cover their insurance premium increases and they need a multi-year pay raise plan," Zearley said. "They are equally concerned about their agencies' funding."

The Oklahoma Education Association is planning a press conference at the State Capitol at 4 p.m. April 12.

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