Teachers in West Virginia say they'll stay out on strike

WEST VIRGINIA TEACHERS WALKOUT

Late Stage Capitalism Statewide WV Teacher Walkout Enters 2nd Day

The bill also gives police a five percent pay raise and other state employees a three percent hike, local news reported.

The 1-percent drop equals about $13.4 million to the state, and Senate Republicans said this money could be used to give all state employees a 4-percent raise. "I hope that's not the intention", he said. The average teacher pay in the state is $45,622, though many educators interviewed over the past week said they earn well below that amount.

Senators declined to take a vote Friday on whether the teachers will get the 5 percent pay raise negotiated by Gov. Jim Justice and union leaders. We challenge the Senate to do the right thing.

"People want to go back to school", he said.

"I think the House's position has been clear".

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The last major issue that resulted in a conference committee was past year when the House and Senate could not agree on revenue measures to address West Virginia's multi-million dollar budget gap.

House members later Saturday wouldn't agree to the Senate's move, and the two bills will now have to be reconciled by a legislative conference committee.

Protesting teachers countered that there are other potential funding sources and that education of the children in West Virginia - where more than 700 classrooms lack fully certified full-time teachers - needs to be a higher priority among politicians. "Maybe after 36 hours or a day or so, we come back with a different perspective". Locally, Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley voted against the amended bill. Sen.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted Saturday evening to approve the lower pay raise, bucking teachers, Republican Gov. Jim Justice and the Republican-controlled House, which approved the 5 percent raise Wednesday. In a confusing back-and-forth the Senate deliberated how to proceed with re-passing their amended version of the bill. "For 1 percent we're going to let kids go hungry", he said.

In the meantime, Gary Price, superintendent of Marion County schools and president of the state Association of School Administrators, told MetroNews in an interview he has met with superintendents and the only way to reopen schools is to pass the 5 percent. "I strongly feel we are blessed to have both".

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On Tuesday, it seemed the strike might be resolved when Justice announced his pay raise plan alongside union leaders. He also made a switch to a controversial plan that penalized those who don't track enough wellness activities.

The Senate has suggested the $58 million in revenue should go toward PEIA (Public Employees Insurance Agency) rather than to salaries.

Justice told school superintendents gathered at the Capitol on Friday that he believed the votes for the raise were there.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says the Senate committee broke an agreement promised by the governor.

He anticipated that the Plymale - representing the Senate Democrats - will be in agreement with the three-member House contingent on the 5 percent mark. "It'll end up at 5 percent".

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If some committee members refuse to sign the conference report on teacher salaries, Prezioso said, "they've shown their hand for 1 percent, all the delays that have occurred over the course of this week will just be evident". The legislature appeared to be heading to a late-night session.

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