Legislators react to work stoppage

West Virginia Headlines
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Teachers in West Virginia are back to work after a weekend of protesting at the capitol.

As teachers continue to fight for fair wages, benefits, and seniority in Charleston.

If public employees and legislators can come to an agreement before Thursday, the walk-out is off.

But as of right now, teachers are planning to head back to Charleston on Thursday to continue their fight.

There is a mixed reaction at the West Virginia Capitol over the planned strike by teachers this Thursday and Friday.

The action was announced at Saturday’s rally in Charleston.

Educators are angry about the proposed one-to-two percent pay increases in the legislature, saying it’s not enough money.

They also want their PEIA health care plan fully funded, so that premium increases don’t wipe out any pay raises they might receive.

“Definitely we have a pathway forward to be able to give them increase, but also to fix PEIA, not just freeze it. But for whatever reason the Senate leadership – the Republican leadership – is refusing to even entertain those suggestions,” said State Senator John Unger, (D) Berkley.

“We passed out a measure that is currently in the Senate that would provide a limited funding stream for PEIA, so I think  the ball is in the other chamber’s court at the moment,” said Delegate Jeffrey Pack, (R) Raleigh.

So far, the house approved a two-percent pay raise for teachers while the Senate has approved one percent.

The two sides are still trying to iron out their differences, but there’s little chance that can get done before Thursday’s strike.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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