May 15, 2001 |
About 700 teachers called in sick in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale to protest salary raises that don't match their expectations. Two weeks earlier, 580 teachers in Tucson staged a similar sickout. Last year, voters approved an initiative increasing the sales tax to 5.6% from 5% to raise a projected $450 million annually for education, including teacher pay raises. Some teachers and teachers unions protest the absence of a big boost to salaries that currently average $35,000 a year.