The West Virginia teachers strike has ended after 9 days. The teachers struck a deal for a 5% pay raise for all state employees. Governor James Justice will also discuss better health insurance, agreeing to explore needs with a special task force next week. The Bill has passed through the house of delegates and now has to pass through the Senate.
But Senate President Mitch Carmichael opposes the bill, implying the pay raise money should be used to fix the state health insurance place instead and stating, “Our objective is to ensure the long-term stability and viability of our PEIA insurance program.”
As stated in The New York Times, “The strike was a remarkable show of defiance in a state where the power of organized labor, once led by strong mining unions, has greatly diminished. Day after day, thousands of teachers poured into the Capitol, carrying signs that said “Help” and singing songs like ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads.’”
West Virginia has the 47th lowest state ranking for teachers’ salary. In 2016, they were making an average of $45,240 a year. The Teacher’s Union expects school to be back in session March 7, having worked hard to achieve what was fair for them.