US: West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout - - PressFrom - US
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US West Virginia teachers cheer pay hike deal to end walkout

07:06  07 march  2018
07:06  07 march  2018 Source:   ap.org

West Virginia teachers strike: State officials consider injunction

  West Virginia teachers strike: State officials consider injunction After a tense weekend without talks, West Virginia's public school teachers resumed their strike on Monday -- closing schools for a third day -- and state officials said they may consider an injunction to stop the walkout. Teachers and school service employees first hit the picket lines Thursday in all of the state's 55 counties to demand better pay and benefits. West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine said local superintendents met on Sunday to discuss the work stoppage and the possibility of legal action, which could involve an injunction.

CHARLESTON, W. Va . (AP) — West Virginia ’s striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout , ceding them 5 percent pay hikes that are also being extended to all state workers. A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol

CHARLESTON, W. Va . — West Virginia ’s striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom The lawmakers unanimously approved the pay raises for teachers and troopers, after the governor reached a deal to end a teacher walkout that

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia's striking teachers cheered, sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers voted to give them a 5 percent raise, ending a nine-day walkout that closed schools across the state.

West Virginia teachers strike to close schools for another day

  West Virginia teachers strike to close schools for another day West Virginia's teachers earn an average of $45,000, well below the national average of $58,000 . The striking teachers were offered a 2 percent pay increase this year -- the first one in three years --  followed by a 1 percent increase over the next two years.But Gov. Jim Justice was jeered when he said the state can't afford anything more. Lindsey Dolan, a mother of two, is concerned that low pay means that the best teachers go elsewhere."We need to have qualified teachers. They need to be well compensated and they need to be qualified to teach our children," Dolan said.

(AP) — West Virginia ’s striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout , ceding Teachers walked off the job Feb. 22, balking at an initial bill signed by Gov. Jim Justice to bump up their pay 2 percent in the first year as they also

CHARLESTON, W. Va . (AP) — West Virginia 's striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers voted to give them a 5 percent raise, ending a nine-day walkout that closed schools across the state. A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol jumped up and down

A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol jumped up and down, chanted "We love our kids!" and sang John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads." The settlement came after a crippling strike had idled hundreds of thousands of students, forced parents to scramble for child care and cast a spotlight on government dysfunction in one of the poorest states in the nation.

State schools Superintendent Steve Paine said in a statement he was "pleased that our students, teachers and service personnel will return to school" Wednesday.

Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, formally declared Tuesday evening that the "work action was over" after a consultation among local organizers. That group is the largest teacher organization in West Virginia and Lee said all 55 West Virginia counties had stood together, adding, "without them, today's agreement would not have happened."

West Virginia teachers to continue strike Tuesday

  West Virginia teachers to continue strike Tuesday Thousands of striking schoolteachers who have shut down West Virginia classrooms for days are demanding a face-to-face meeting with the governor and legislative leaders on their pay grievances, a union official said Monday.Teachers rallied Monday outside the state Capitol amid pledges to continue the walkout that began Thursday, unless their complaints are heard. The state's average teacher pay ranks among the lowest in the nation and teachers are balking at approved increases they say are too stingy.

West Virginia 's striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers voted to give them a 5 percent raise, ending a nine-day walkout that closed schools across the state. A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol jumped up and down, chanted "We love our kids!" and sang John

(AP) — West Virginia ’s striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers voted to give them a 5 percent raise, ending a nine-day walkout that closed schools across the state. A huge crowd of teachers packing the Capitol jumped up and down, chanted “We love our kids

Earlier, Lee had said of the teachers: "We know that they're going to be relieved to do what they love best, and that's taking care of the kids and educating the kids of West Virginia."

The West Virginia teachers, some of the lowest-paid in the country, had gone without a salary increase for four years. They appeared to have strong public backing throughout their walkout.

"We overcame. We overcame!" teacher Danielle Harris exclaimed, calling it a victory for students as well. "It shows them how democracy is supposed to work, that you don't just bow down and lay down for anybody. They got the best lesson that they could ever have even though they were out of school."

Tuesday marked the ninth day of canceled classes for the school system's 277,000 students and 35,000 employees.

Teachers walked off the job Feb. 22, balking at an initial bill signed by Gov. Jim Justice to bump up their pay 2 percent in the first year as they also complained about rising health insurance costs.

Schools in 27 counties staying closed Thursday

  Schools in 27 counties staying closed Thursday CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Latest on a statewide walkout by teachers in West Virginia over pay and benefits (all times local):8 p.m.The West Virginia Department of Education says all schools in 27 of the state's 55 counties plan to remain closed Thursday despite an apparent agreement between leaders of the unions representing striking teachers and school service personnel and Gov. Jim Justice intended to end the walkout.The department's list has been growing through the evening even after the House of Delegates voted Wednesday night to approve the 5 percent raises in the deal.The Senate adjourned before considering it and plans to return on Thursday.

CHARLESTON, W. Va . — West Virginia 's striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout , ceding them 5 percent pay hikes that are also being extended to all state workers.

— West Virginia ’s striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout , ceding The West Virginia teachers , some of the lowest- paid in the nation, had gone without a salary increase for four years. They appeared to have strong public

Teachers celebrate after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Senate Republicans announced they reached a tentative deal to end a statewide teachers' strike by giving them 5 percent raises in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Robert Ray) © The Associated Press Teachers celebrate after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Senate Republicans announced they reached a tentative deal to end a statewide teachers' strike by giving them 5 percent raises in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)

Justice responded last week with an offer to raise teacher pay 5 percent — a proposal the state House approved swiftly but that senators weren't so eager to sign off on. Instead the Senate countered with an offer of 4 percent on Saturday, prompting leaders of all three unions representing the state's teachers to announce the walkout was being extended.

After a six-member conference committee agreed Tuesday to the new proposal, the House of Delegates subsequently passed 5 percent raises for teachers, school service personnel and state troopers on a 99-0 vote. The Senate followed, voting 34-0.

At a bill signing ceremony after Tuesday's vote, Justice declared victory.

"Today is a new day for education in West Virginia. No more looking back!" he proclaimed, surrounded by jubilant education leaders. "We really have to move away from the idea that education is some necessary evil that's just got to be funded ... toward ... looking at our children and our teachers and education process as an investment ... That's all there is to it."

West Virginia public schools to remain closed Friday despite tentative deal

  West Virginia public schools to remain closed Friday despite tentative deal Schools in West Virginia's 55 counties are set to remain closed on Friday with teachers continuing a strike, pushing it into its seventh day. ABC News affiliate WCHS reported Thursday that teachers would remain on strike after the state's Senate declined to take up legislation to raise pay for school and state employees.Gov. Jim Justice (R) and teachers' union leaders had reached a deal to raise pay for teachers and other state employees while appointing a task force to deal with issues related to the Public Employees' Insurance Agency (PEIA).

CHARLESTON, W. Va . (AP) — West Virginia 's striking teachers cheered , sang and wept joyfully Tuesday as lawmakers voted to give them a 5 The lawmakers unanimously approved the pay raises for teachers and troopers, after the governor reached a deal to end a teacher walkout that

- West Virginia 's striking teachers cheered and applauded Tuesday as lawmakers acted to end a nine-day classroom walkout Teachers walked off the job Feb. 22, balking at a bill signed by Justice to raise their pay 2 percent in the first year as they also complained about rising health insurance costs.

Missed school days will be made up, either at the end of the school year or by shortening spring break, depending on decisions by individual counties. Justice said that would not mean families would go without their summer vacations, however.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair said lawmakers will seek to cut state spending by $20 million to pay for the raises, taking funds from general government services and Medicaid. Other state workers who also would get 5 percent raises under the deal will have to wait for a budget bill to pass.

Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, a Republican, said talks with the governor's office lasted into early Tuesday identifying cuts everyone could agree to.

Justice said additional budget cuts by his staff will fund the raises, but he insisted in response to a question at the news conference that there would be no damaging cuts to Medicaid or programs that help the poor.

Erick Burgess, a teacher from Mercer County, said he was pleased with the salary increase and hoped the teachers' actions in West Virginia would inspire educators elsewhere.

"Teachers seem to be mistreated throughout the country, so we are hoping other teachers and other public employees step up and tell their government they have had enough," he said.

____

Associated Press writers Robert Ray in Charleston and Michael Virtanen in Morgantown, West Virginia, contributed to this report.

Is a four-day school week the answer to low teacher pay? .
One Oklahoma school district shortened its week specifically for teacher recruitment and to stop them from moving to other states that paid more Your browser does not support this video require(["binding"], function (binding) { binding("wcVideoPlayer", "#video_player_0a26a102-bff2-4c69-9dbf-184b65ff4f80").all(); }); Teachers in Oklahoma could be the next to go on strike over low wages after a nine-day teachers' strike in West Virginia ended Tuesday when the governor signed a bill for a five percent pay raise. Oklahoma educators are the second lowest paid in the U.S. with an average salary of about $45,000 per year.

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