Sunday, 19 May, 2019

Committee to mull West Virginia teacher pay hike

Parry Casto a fifth-grade teacher at the Explorer Committee to mull West Virginia teacher pay hike
Patty Aguilar | 05 March, 2018, 02:27

They have not seen a pay raise in over a decade. The teachers' demands included salary increases, a permanent fix to their healthcare plans, and an end to education reforms which remove seniority protections for public teachers.

Elizabeth Yost, a teacher from Mercer County, said she was not discouraged by the votes in the legislature.

"They believed that we were bluffing when we said we would hold their feet to the fire", Lee said while calling for the strike to continue. As of Saturday night, teachers in Oklahoma have begun to use social media to coordinate a movement, with over 25,000 people joining the related Facebook group, 'Oklahoma Teachers Walkout - The Time Is Now!' " As of Sunday, the group-compried of teachers and advocates from across the country-had almost 32,000 members".

Many members of the Republican-controlled state government have called the strike illegal, including the Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

The West Virginia House of Delegates refused to concur with the Senate changes to teacher pay increases, however, according to WCHS.

"When I realized that they were taking hundreds of dollars and then they tried to tell me they were giving me a pay raise of 1 percent, I knew I can't just sit back".

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The union representing W. Va. teachers says their strike - begun February 22 - will extend at least through Monday, if not longer, after the state Senate failed to pass the raise teachers are holding out for. When the error was discovered, the Senate corrected the mistake and re-voted for the lower pay raise.

Approximately, 277,000 students are entering their eighth day of no school, as are 35,000 employees, according to the Associated Press. In a formal statement made ahead of the strike, the West Virginia superintendent of schools, Steven Paine, said that he agreed that the teachers "deserved more", although he was careful to add that "the economic realities of our state may not allow everything teachers deserve to take place immediately". House Bill 4268 is a bill again that benefits oil and gas companies.

"It's still very early, but this conversation needed to at least start happening now". About 20,000 teachers walked out February 22, keeping nearly 277,000 students out of class.

The Oklahoma teachers are considering striking during the first week of April, during standardized state testing.

"If we do it the first week of April, that would be during standardized state testing, which would be a great time to say, 'Hey, we're going on strike, and we're not going to give these tests, '" Chloe Prochaska, a teacher in Mustang, told KTUL on Friday.

The West Virginia Education Association, American Federation of Teachers and West Virginia School Service Personnel Association said in a joint statement Saturday they were "angry and disappointed" in the Senate's decision not to agree to the 5 percent raise.

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