With pay raise bill still unresolved, schools begin closing for Friday

Mar 6, 2018

“We want to see a firm commitment before we go back”. It was really something, because we know we need unity to win. Eventually, late in the evening, we found out that all fifty-five counties had made a decision to stay out on strike. Under the bill, teachers will receive a $2,020 salary increase, service personnel will receive $1,100 and State Police will receive $2,160.

Teacher Sam told Socialist Worker that the state is “combining spousal household income to determine new monthly premiums”.

Lee also said “we have assurances that pieces of legislation that we oppose” including those downplaying the role of employee seniority, legalizing taxpayer-funded private school vouchers and complicating the process of payroll deductions to pay union dues “will not move throughout the remainder of the [legislative] session”. Since this is going to also be the final reading of the bill’s wording, the House of Delegates is also going to have a vote on whether give it the green light or shelve it for now. “We had a meeting at 2:30 p.m. yesterday that lasted about an hour and a half”. The pay raise bill had not been on the afternoon agenda.

In a press conference Thursday, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey reiterated his office stands ready should any agency request legal action to address the work stoppage.

Earlier this week, James C. Justice, the governor, announced a plan to raise teachers’ salaries by 5 percent, and state union leaders said teachers would return to work on Thursday.

For the time being, the Senate Bill 415 has managed to pass through the House nearly unchanged.

The Senate has not acted yet.

“I wasn’t going to have enough employees”, Upshur County superintendent Roy Wager said Thursday morning. The Senate is expected to consider it Thursday. Some teachers who continued to mill about the Capitol late into the evening said they remain uncertain and plan to stay off the job indefinitely. “They fought for everything they got”. That’s all there is to it.

“I’ve said many, many times we ought to look at education as an economic driver”, he said, according to the AP. “They want to run what we’ve got, and I do too”.

“It’s sad to me that the students are suffering from this (strike)”, she said. I reported back to our county union reps, who reported back to the superintendent.

West Virginia union leaders advised striking teachers and service personnel to go back to school today, but Northern Panhandle administrators canceled all classes yet again.

“We have been promised so many things for so long and none of it comes to fruition”, Green told USA TODAY.

He added, “Right now we feel if the Senate would come on board with that our employees would be most likely to come back to work”, Price said, adding that it was the sole objective of the superintendents gathering at the Capitol.

House Bill 4145 was referred to the Finance Committee and a motion by Minority Leader Roman Prezioso to discharge the bill and get it to the floor was tabled. The motion was voted down.

A middle school student’s questioning at a town hall meeting prompted West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to rethink his approach to teacher pay that eventually would lead to an agreement to end a statewide walkout.

West Virginia teachers strike enters 2nd week despite pay hike deal


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