It has been 28 years since West Virginia educators last went on strike, and one Marshall County guidance counselor says the current statewide controversy feels like déjà vu.
Tuesday morning, teachers in Marshall County held a walk-in and picketed in front of their schools until the school day officially began.
Marilyn Wehrheim has been a public employee since 1985 and is standing alongside her co-workers in their efforts.
“It’s not just salary. It’s not just insurance. It’s seniority. It’s retirement benefits,” said Wehrheim.
Wehrheim was an employee during the last strike in 1990.
It lasted for 11 days, and teachers picketed outside of the school.
She says she actually voted against the strike, but she wanted to stand united with her coworkers so she walked out.
She says it was an incredibly difficult time, but what she remembers most is that sense of unity.
“To see your colleagues cross your picket line, that’s tough. We’re fighting for their benefits as well. Like this morning when we had our walk-in, we just wanted to show that we were united just like we were 28 years ago,” said Wehrheim.
Public employees say they are going to keep fighting and that a strike would only be used as a last resort.