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Mason County school board adopts work stoppage guide


Point Pleasant Register

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va.  — On Thursday morning, the Mason County Board of Education held an emergency meeting to discuss the potential outcomes of a possible work stoppage by staff and developed a set of guidelines should a stoppage occur.

An informational meeting for the teachers and service personnel of Mason County Schools was held later Thursday evening. (See related story online at The possible work stoppage came about due to what many educators and personnel staff across West Virginia feel are stagnant wages, alongside costly changes in PEIA insurance. Work stoppages have become a hot topic across all 55 counties as the state legislature debates what to do next.

Superintendent Jack Cullen informed the board members he attended a state meeting last week in Bridgeport asking for guidance on work stoppage. Cullen broke down the information he received from State Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Paine to the board members as follows:

Cullen stated, as relayed at the state meeting, work stoppages are not permitted under West Virginia law. He explained that both the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the West Virginia Attorney General have confirmed that public employees have no right to participate in work stoppages including teachers and service personnel. He said the possible consequences for employees participating in a work stoppage will be determined at the county level. Cullen suggested that if no violence or intimidation were used during a stoppage, that employees who participate in a peaceful work stoppage be given amnesty.

Cullen stated no personal leave may be used during a work stoppage. He explained that if a staff member tries to request leave without cause, the personal leave will not be permitted on the designated stoppage day unless the employee can produce a justifiable excuse for missing work. He said any employee calling in sick must present a doctor’s note the day they return to work. Cullen commented if any staff has requested personal leave prior to their knowledge of the work stoppage, it must be verified the leave was not due to the work stoppage.

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