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West Virginia Legislature presents teachers with pay raise ultimatum: 4 percent over 3 years


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said Tuesday he is disappointed that “union bosses” are still proceeding with plans for a statewide teacher walkout on Thursday and Friday.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Craig Hudson)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In the latest salvo in negotiations over pay raises for teachers, school service personnel and other state employees, Senate and House leadership Tuesday evening were playing hardball, sending teachers a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum to accept a 2 percent pay raise this year, followed by two 1 percent annual pay increases (Senate Bill 267).

House 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 Feb. 13 and in a plan initially backed by the Senate, and called on them not to stage a statewide walkout beginning Thursday.

The measure passed the Senate 27-6 Tuesday evening and was sent back to the House, which concurred in a 59-37 vote after more than two hours of discussion, passing the bill and sending it to Gov. Jim Justice.

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

But Christine Campbell, president of the American Federation of Teachers — West Virginia, said the Senate proposal is moving in the wrong direction and is insufficient to stop a planned walkout of teachers and school service personnel this Thursday and Friday.

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