House passes raise for West Virginia teachers

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Details were not disclosed publicly.

As I wrote last month, if the Supreme Court rules that employees can't be obligated to pay such fees because public sector unions are inherently political, then workers can and should prove just how political they can really be.

INSKEEP: So you are insisting it's got to be a 5 percent raise, or this strike can go on and on?

Del. Paul Espinosa says he'll take a proposal to the House majority Republican caucus, but it's "pretty clear" that the House believes its position provides the best opportunity to resolve the situation.

A statewide strike by teachers and school staff in the state of West Virginia entered its eight day Monday after Senate lawmakers failed to approved a raise for the workers.

Teachers in West Virginia are demanding better pay and improved public health insurance options.

Prospects for a strike have risen with the Oklahoma legislature's failure to act on a measure that would have funded raises of $10,000 per teacher over three years. Well, the states share more than a few similarities.

Following up on his press conference announcement yesterday, Gov. Jim Justice this afternoon submitted a revised revenue forecast for the 2019 fiscal year, increasing General Revenue Fund collections by $58 million.

The House approved that raise.

Republican Sen. Greg Boso proposed the amendment to reduce the raise, reports the Charleston-Gazette Mail, and said it would save money for a potential 4 percent raise for all public employees.

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"Last night, the Senate was given the opportunity to end this, but they have chosen to hold our students hostage", she said.

The West Virginia teachers union and the state's governor say they have reached a deal to end a strike that has left classrooms in the state shuttered for more than a week.

Most counties across the state subsequently announced classrooms will be closed Tuesday for the ninth straight day. The governor, union leaders and the House of Delegates agreed to the pay raise for the teachers, among the lowest paid in the nation, but the Senate offered only a 4 percent increase. In 2016, Oklahoma voters struck down a ballot initiative that would raise the state sales tax by one cent on the dollar to pay for the $5,000 teacher pay raises.

For West Virginia teachers (whose pay ranks 48th in the country for educator salaries), such miniscule pay gains don't seem like much of an improvement. I'm willing to give it till tomorrow morning if that's the will of this committee. A delegation of all 55 of the state's superintendents, one from each county, spent hours in Charleston over the weekend, fruitlessly pressing a key Senate committee to approve the 5 percent pay raise. A conference committee of both the state House and Senate has yet to address two different bills aimed at ending the strike. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne.

She is among many parents and students around West Virginia who are adjusting their schedules as the strike continues.

"This is very positive", said Tina Workman, a second-grade teacher from Midland Trail Elementary in Kanawha County who has been at the Capitol each day with other striking teachers.

Lawrence Messina, a spokesman for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, said more than 5,000 people had arrived by noon.

As the labor dispute drags on, students are playing a waiting game - and video games - while trying to keep themselves busy.

At a nearby ice arena, Melissa Hodges took her two daughters for regular skating lessons.

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