Teacher Pay Raise Bill Heads to Governor as Walkout Looms

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So far, the House approved a 2 percent pay raise for teachers while the Senate has approved 1 percent.

The House version passed last week called for a 2 percent increase this year and a 1 percent hike each year for three years. Service personnel and state police will receive a 2 percent raise then a following 1 percent raise.

House of Delegates and Senate leaders called for teachers to accept the proposal, which would amount to a three-year, 4 percent raise, as opposed to 5 percent overall raises advanced by the House of Delegates on February 13 in a plan initially backed by the Senate, and called on them not to stage a statewide walkout beginning Thursday.

The amended pay raise bill was considered in the Senate's Rules Committee after a delay of more than an hour.

In a statement Tuesday, Justice urged teachers, school service personnel and other state employees to accept the pay plan.

Sen. Bob Plymale, D-Wayne, reluctantly voted yes, but said it is effectively just a 2 percent raise because they can not implore future Legislatures to take any action. "Right now this is what we can afford".

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The passage of the bill comes after state leaders of teacher unions announced Saturday a statewide work stoppage for this Thursday and Friday. Senate Republicans earlier Tuesday afternoon had gathered in Gov. Jim Justice's office.

Campbell said the line is taken out of context.

"I want to let the lawmakers know that teachers deserve a pay raise, and more so than a pay raise, we need PEIA funded", said Jami Hefner, a Braxton County teacher. "This isn't something that will actually pull us out of 48th in the country". "Two percent is not a refreshing idea when we remain 48th".

The bill also applies to uniformed and administrative State Police.

"Yeah, it's unfortunate that it's come to this, because definitely we have a pathway forward to be able to give them increases, and also to fix PEIA, not just freeze it", said State Sen.

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