State employees will no longer take part in the Capitol walkout, the Oklahoma Public Employees Association said Thursday. They feel the focus has shifted from funding all core services to only funding education.
OPEA said lawmakers are making promises to educators "just to get them out of the Capitol, but no promises are being made to state employees," a news release states
OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley said public safety, veterans' services, mental health services and other state agency services have been excluded from the discussion.
"Many state agencies’ budgets have been reduced 30 percent during the past several years yet state employees still serve their communities despite inadequate resources," he said.
"Our agencies need increased funding, and state employees need a significant pay raise."
The news release said the pay raise passed this legislative session won't even cover insurance premium increases.
"State employees are angry and will not be ignored," Zearley said. "They are equally concerned about their agencies’ funding."