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House Approves State Worker Pay Raise; Critics Say It's Not Enough

CHARLESTON, WV - In the end it wasn't even close. The House of delegates voting 98 to 1 to raise teacher pay by 2 percent this year; state service workers would get one percent, and so would state police, in the first year. Many want to give all employees more money, but the state's finances remain tight.

"With the budget and being fair to other state workers, I believe that the 2 percent is all the we could go with at this time," said Del. Terri Sypolt, (R) Preston.

"I think that represent our best opportunity to get  a meaningful pay increase for our teachers, school service personnel and other state employees across the finish line this session," said Del. Paul Espinosa, Chairman, (R) Jefferson - Education Committee.

There were two efforts in the House to bump up teacher pay by three-percent this year.

"I am in favor of giving the teachers more than a two percent raise. And I voted in that way, the last two amendments," said Del. Richard Iaquinta, (R) Harrison.

"Still that's not nearly enough to put us evan close to being on-par with neighboring states, but it would have ben a step in the right direction. And unfortunately we didn;lt have enough votes to get that through," said Del. Robert Thompson, (D) Wayne.

There continues to be talk of a strike among teachers. Last time that happened was 1990.

"I think the sentiments I'm hearing is we might be reliving 28 years ago, pretty soon," said Del., Mike Folk, (R) Berkeley.

Teachers staged a huge protest at the Capitol two weeks ago.

"it's becoming like a tennis match. The House bill that gives teacher sa 2-percent pay raise now bounces back to the Senate which only approved a one-percent pay raise. As always they have to work out the numbers," said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.


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