Education

No Movement on West Virginia Teacher Strike

CHARLESTON, WV - "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!" teachers shouted outside the Senate door.

Day seven of the West Virginia Teacher strike, with no end in sight. By late afternoon, the Senate had recessed until Saturday, without taking any action on the bill providing a five percent pay raise to all education employees.

"They're just adding fuel to the fire. We need to get this thing resolved, and we can. The Senate just needs to go ahead and pass the bill and we move forward on that," said Dale Lee, West Virginia Education Association.

In addition to school employees, state troopers will also get a five-percent raise. But all other state workers get 3-percent. Some Republican Senators are worried about that disparity, but their House counterparts hope the delays end.

"We're hoping that the Senate will pass it. And it passed 98-to-1 here in the House. So that is a good move on the House's part," said Del. Tom Fast, (R) Fayette.

Teachers continue to insist that it's not just about pay. They want their PEIA health insurance fixed.

"We are going to work on this PEIA. We want to know who's going to be on that task force. We want to be represented on that task force. And we want that done before the election time," said Kelly Bates,  a Lincoln County teacher.

"No one ever entered these jobs with and idea that we were going to live wealthy or have yachts. But we wanted a living wage and we want to be able to stay here," said Ashley Jenkins, a Preston County teacher.

The legislature will be in session over the weekend.

"As for how long this strike will last - most teachers I ask say - as long as it takes," said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.


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