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Teachers rally evokes memory of 1990 strike in West Virginia


The Herald-Dispatch

Teachers demonstrate outside Huntington High School in Huntington on March 13, 1990 as part of a statewide teachers strike. The man’s shirt is a caricature of then-Gov. Gaston Caperton.
IHerald-Dispatch file photo)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — In the West Virginia Encyclopedia, there is only one entry under “Teachers’ Strike,” though that’s sure to soon change.

Only once before had the state’s storied history of labor conflict starred school employees, the most viable job option in many counties, prior to 2018.

Although the 11-day statewide teachers’ strike of 1990 transpired before many new teachers were even born, many details mirror the issues of the current day.

 What sparked that movement was teacher salaries and the inability of union leaders, state legislators and then-Gov. Gaston Caperton to negotiate an agreement as the legislative session drew to a close.

In 1990, West Virginia teachers earned an average of $21,904 annually, which ranked them 48th nationwide. By comparison, the national average teacher salary at the time was more than $26,000.

Read the entire article:

Photo gallery from 1990 strike

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