Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin: Teachers on Strike Are Like 'Teenagers Who Want a Better Car'

Teachers going on strike to demand a salary increase are like “a teenager wanting a better car” according to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

Fallin made the comments in an interview with CBS News on Tuesday as thousands of teachers across Oklahoma and Kentucky launched strike action demanding better pay.

Around 300,000 teachers in Oklahoma took part in a walkout that began on Monday and that organizers have said will last until a salary increase is agreed to.

But the state’s Republican governor appeared to have little sympathy for the teachers, telling CBS: “Teachers want more, but it's kind of like a teenager wanting a better car.”

The average teacher in Oklahoma earns $45,000 a year, with VOA reporting the state is among the lowest paying in the U.S. for educators.

And Fallin’s offer to teachers of a 15 to 18 percent raise was rejected ahead of the walkout as not enough, with the largest teachers’ union in the state asking for a $10,000 increase over the next three years.

In addition, teachers are also demanding an increase in state education funding of $75 million in what they say will provide a better deal for the students they teach, while the salary increase they have requested comes as many claim they are forced to take on additional work to supplement their teachers’ salary.

As well as writing off the teachers’ demands as childish, Governor Fallin also reportedly suggested that anti-fascist group Antifa was involved in the ongoing teachers’ protests, claiming it was among the “outside groups” that were demonstrating alongside educators.

“Talked w/Ok Gov Mary Fallin about # oklahomateachersstrike. She mentioned “outside” groups w/teachers at Capitol. I said yes...NEA and WV teacher union leaders. “And ANTIFA”, she added. Did y’all see ANTIFA at the Statehouse?” reporter Omar Villafranca tweeted after speaking with Fallin in Oklahoma on Tuesday.