Gov. Justice says deal reached on pay raises

Gov. Justice says deal reached on pay raises

Gov. Justice says deal reached on pay raises

The pay raises are still tentative, though.

Ferns said late Monday after a House-Senate conference committee worked for a compromise that Senate Republicans were concerned more about how the raise is paid for than the exact amount.

"We're seeing a rising economy here", the governor's chief of staff, Mike Hall said before committee.

The Republican majority in the state Senate did not want to use any of that revenue toward the raises - and it appears they still won't.

To attribute the teacher shortage to issues of pay alone oversimplifies this complex problem, but low pay, experts agree, certainly doesn't help, particularly around West Virginia's border counties, where prospective teachers are tempted by average starting salaries that can be more than $10,000 greater in neighboring states. A spokeswoman from the Department of Education did not respond to an email seeking comment. Justice said that would not mean families would go without their summer vacations, however.

West Virginia and Oklahoma ranked 46th and 47th among US states for average pay for teachers in 2016, at $45,783 and $45,317, respectively, according to the National Education Association.

The strike, now in its eighth school day, has idled more than 277,000 students as educators pressed for higher salaries in a state where their pay is near the bottom of the scale for US teachers. School systems in some of the state's 55 counties, including Kanawha and Putnam, announced even before Mr. Justice signed the pay raise bill that they would reopen on Wednesday. "That for teachers to stay in our profession, for bus drivers and support staff to stay and do this work, we need a livable wage, and we need the conditions in schools that we can help kids thrive".

Senate leaders said they're on board this time.

"All the focus should have always been on fairness and getting the kids back in school", he said in a tweet. "This has been the fiscally responsible thing to do, in my opinion, to get us to the point we're at today".

"They deserve to be paid", she said. Teachers had been on strike since February 22.

But in hindsight, the West Virginia teacher strike seemed inevitable.

West Virginia's service personnel and state police are also covered in the law raising wages.

Hours later, teacher unions across the state agreed over a conference call to officially end the strike. West Virginia ranked 46th among the 50 USA states for average teacher pay past year at $45,783, according to the National Education Association.

The WV Teachers Strike Support Fund, started by citizens and not sponsored by unions, is created to help "teachers and school service personnel who are taking on great personal cost to organize and support their families during the strike". The also voted to have the raise to begin on July 1. Three members from the House and three from the Senate - two Republicans and one Democrat - were selected.

"However, all members of the House are in agreement that they will not back down from the 5% pay raise that passed the House, and the Delegates representing the House on the pay raise conference committee have been notified they are to stand their ground on 5%", the Facebook post said.

Few states can boast teacher salaries lower than West Virginia.

West Virginia teachers are equally unhappy with their employee health insurance program.

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