Frustrations Abound As State Offices Close, Workers Walk Out Alongside Teachers
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Hundreds of state employees are walking out alongside teachers today at the state capital.
The lack of manpower caused some state offices to close for the day.
Car after car drove up to the Driver’s License Testing Center in Broken Arrow. The facility was closed, leading many to express their frustration and displeasure.
"My daughter was planning on getting her driving permit today," said Kindra Thomas.
16-year-old Sebastian says, "I'm here to get my learners permit that I've been waiting for like forever man, just forever."
"They're closed. Of course," exclaimed 15-year-old Mackenzie Rosson.
Thomas says she “took a full vacation day to try and get this accomplished for her and to celebrate afterwards."
"I just moved from California and I'm trying to get my driver’s license," stated Sheri Smith. “It’s closed. Why is it closed? Why would they send me here if it’s closed?”
Hundreds of state employees joined teachers in a walkout at the capitol.
The Oklahoma Public Employees Association posted online that the pay raise the legislature passed isn't enough.
The group urged employees wherever they are to wear blue in support of state employees and services and to use the hashtag #NotEnoughOK.
"I support the teachers and the state employees," said parent Tracy Crabtree. "They need to do it for our education and for the state."
Not every government-run office closed and not every state employee walked out of work today.
Some employees, like a group of worker at the Pushmataha County DHS, posted pictures from their offices, but continued working. Others took their concerns to the state capitol or to walkouts around town.
Joanna Ellis says, "they can march, they can get in trouble, they can do whatever, but if it doesn't change things it's gonna be a sad situation for my grandchildren and my great granddaughter."
According to the OPEA website, this walkout will continue until "real help from the Legislature is provided."