All new from Across the Mountain State, a deal is brewing that could help prevent a statewide teacher strike in West Virginia.
On Wednesday, the House of Delegates passed a resolution asking the state health insurance plan, PEIA, to hold off on any policy changes or premium increase for the current year.
If PEIA rates don’t go up, and teachers get a proposed one-percent pay increase, the average teacher would see a pay hike of 456-dollars this year.
The sides remain sharply divided:
Said Del. George Ambler, (R) Greenbrier, “This is something that helped draw me into teaching to start with. It is certainly a big benefit for us to have. And it is something that is doable now and we need it. But let’s get this correct and done correctly this time.”
Dale Lee, President, West Virginia Education Association said, “I still think we need to see more pay that one-percent. We have 727 vacancies across the state of West Virginia. One percent is not going to do anything to address that problem.”
The State Senate and Governor are also likely to ask PEIA to freeze insurance premiums, for the next year.
But the independent state agency is under no legal obligation to go along with that.