The West Virginia House of Delegates has unanimously voted to approve a 5-percent pay raise for all public employees. But more than the potential domino effect, it is the durability of the now eight-day-long "wildcat strike" that has implications beyond West Virginia's borders.
"It was a very positive, emotional celebration for teachers at the Capitol", said Jennifer Wood, spokeswoman for the state American Federation of Teachers (AFT). According to recent data from the Department of Education, "teachers tend to be white, female, and have almost a decade and a half of experience in the classroom". Ron Stollings said on the Senate floor.
West Virginia lags most of the nation when it comes to teacher pay. Justice responded last week with an offer to raise teacher pay 5 percent, gaining swift House approval though the Senate countered with 4 percent - a number rejected by the teacher unions, extending their walkout. They have not seen a pay raise in over a decade. However, Blair said there would be "deep cuts" to the budget. "I miss my friends", she said. He put his trash can on his desk, crumbled paper and dropped it in.
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice said he wanted the bill to die in the Senate in order to tie it to raising severance taxes in a special session.
"While everyone is focused on the mistakes, my focus is exclusively on getting our children back to school", Justice said. You're saying that the low pay is making it hard for schools to hire qualified teachers?
More than one political theorist has suggested a motive for such an amendment is to draw single-issue voters to the polls during the general election, as Republicans are increasingly beginning to fear they may be on shaky ground by then. Prezioso and Mike Woelfel.
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.
INSKEEP: So 5 percent, 4 percent - isn't there a deal in there somewhere? The second and third readings passed 19-13.
Dale Lee is president of the West Virginia Education Association, one of the unions representing teachers. Justice has urged legislators to come to an agreement quickly.
House of Delegates spokesman Jared Hunt said Sunday no meeting had been scheduled yet of the conference committee. The House and Senate picked their members Saturday night. He said visitor access was cut off about an hour later. Members to the conference would be appointed by each chamber. House lawmakers met that requirement on Monday with a final vote tally of 72-25.
A Senate finance committee vote earlier in the day drew boos from an overflow crowd of teachers and supporters who watched a livestream from the Senate committee room.
As reported by The Tulsa World, teachers in Oklahoma have eyed going on strike for months.
"The Senate got us in this mess".
He says it's time to "quite playing politics" and "get our kids back to school". Strikes happen in cities like Chicago all the time, but it's "totally different" to watch educators strike in West Virginia, he explained. Special ed students have been meeting with district help at a local McDonalds, and administrators and local social service agencies have arranged take-home bags of food for children who receive free lunch during the school day, with menus created to be simple enough that the students can prepare the food for themselves.
Jenny Santilli, a Spanish teacher at Bridgeport High School, said she was happy with the outcome and considered it a "good beginning", noting that she and others planned on holding state leaders to account.
"This is something that has accumulated over the years".
"There is a level of trust that does not exist right now", Salfia said.
Strikes have been effective in getting state officials to pony up the money for teacher pay raises in the recent past.
Sure enough, on Wednesday, teachers around Arizona are planning to wear red to send a message that they want immediate action from their elected representatives to resolve the school funding crisis. "We just need to get something going now", she said.
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