take a step back and look at the big picture. Like the scheduled days of work. Remember, most professionals work more than eight hours a day, including many teachers, so the claim of working over eight hours is not a valid argument.
Most important, consider total compensation.
When cash and non-cash compensation are considered (along with the area’s cost of living) teachers are not underpaid. They typically have employee benefits, especially retirement and medical benefits significantly superior to private sector workers and taxpayers.
Oklahoma has been in the news as the result of a teachers strike where teachers were earning an average $45,276 before winning a $6,000 raise in a state where the median household income was $51,424 in 2017. In addition, Oklahoma was contributing 17% of payroll to the teachers pension trust. A good pension plan averages about 8% of payroll.
If teachers want to change the mix with higher cash pay, that is a valid issue for negotiations and should be pursued. Simply adding more to the total package generally is not valid.