Tentative Deal Could End West Virginia Teacher Strike

07 March, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Parry Casto a fifth-grade teacher at the Explorer

The funds would come from increased taxes on cigarettes, diesel fuel, and wind energy, as well as raise the gross production tax on oil wells from 2 percent to 4 percent.

Since the West Virginia teacher strike began on February 22, shutting down public schools across the state, Vasale has put out an open invitation on Facebook every day, offering free babysitting for any parents who have to go to work and can't afford day care.

The last teacher strike, which took place in 1990, was over the same issue of teacher raises and education funding, Danks said.

Similarly, the cheapest health insurance plans in West Virginia rank about in the middle of states in terms of cost.

The House approved that raise. As English teacher Katie Windicott noted in a New York Times interview, a 1 percent pay raise "equals out to 88 cents every two days". Another teacher said she believes a strike "is necessary for Oklahoma".

More than 277,000 students were out of the classroom for nine school days as teachers pressed for higher salaries in West Virginia, where pay ranks near the bottom for US teachers.

Most counties across the state subsequently announced classrooms will be closed Tuesday for the ninth straight day.

The state Senate approved a bill Saturday night to decrease proposed pay raises from 5% to 4% - a move which infuriated the teachers. And I thank our teachers and school service personnel, who absolutely are to be credited for this milestone - by standing up, standing strong, and keeping our state's young people at the forefront of this fight.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael and other Republican legislators maintain the state can not afford raises that would end the walkout by some of the lowest-paid educators in the country.

West Virginia's base teacher pay is much higher than Oklahoma's.

The deal was in the conference committee during the morning hours.

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Teachers are also voicing frustration with the Senate's handling of the pay raise in House Bill 4145. At the state capitol in Charleston, a conference committee has been appointed to resolve the differences between the state Senate and House. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne.

"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.

However, that bill was voted down in the state House because it didn't get the 75% approval needed to pass, according to Oklahoma Department of Education Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

"I don't see them coming to an agreement, especially to satisfy everyone", she said.

Messina says he didn't know how many people were turned away, but the lines still stretched around the Capitol by early afternoon.

The teachers have gone all-in anyway, and are now in the eighth day of a wildcat strike that encompasses all of West Virginia's fifty-five counties.

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

That doesn't necessarily say anything about the rates for public school teachers, but it does give a sense of how many other states have workers in positions that are just as bad, if not worse, when it comes to health care.

The governor, union leaders and the House of Delegates had agreed to the raise last week for teachers, who are among the lowest paid in the nation and haven't had a salary increase in four years.

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


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