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Strike continues today for West Virginia school systems


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Teachers and service personnel from throughout West Virginia resumed protesting at the state Capitol in Charleston Wednesday morning, the fifth day of a statewide work stoppage to protest low pay and issues with the state’s public employees insurance fund.
(Submitted photo)

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Confusion reigned Wednesday as a nearly week-long statewide walkout of teachers and service personnel continues today in all West Virginia counties despite calls from state lawmakers and union leaders for employees to return to work.

Gov. Jim Justice and the heads of the West Virginia Education Association, West Virginia American Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association reached an agreement Tuesday evening for the creation of a task force to address the state Public Employees Insurance Agency, or PEIA, and for a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and 3 percent for other public employees. Justice announced, as part of the deal, Wednesday would act as a “cooling off” day and employees would return to work Thursday.

However, tempers and disillusionment grew throughout the day Wednesday as more than 3,000 public employees gathered at the state Capitol in Charleston to find little movement on the promised pay increase and no talk of changes to the state’s insurance program.

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