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West Virginia teachers call for more than a 1 percent raise


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Ruffner Elementary School teachers Diana Daily, left, and Krystal McConihay attend the teachers rally in the Capitol Rotunda.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Kenny Kemp)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice, in his State of the State address last week, requested a “1 percent” across-the-board pay increase for West Virginia teachers in this year’s legislative session, with further 1 percent increases in each of the next four years.

“That’s it?” has essentially been the response of teachers, at least as indicated by a rally Monday in the state Capitol. About 200 people attended the West Virginia Education Association union rally, including teachers and lawmakers.

The audience, where the signs included ones saying “1 percent is not enough! We deserve competitive pay!” and “We need more than a 1 percent raise. We deserve more!!,” booed when WVEA President Dale Lee mentioned Justice’s proposal.

“I don’t have to tell you that’s inadequate,” Lee said.

Justice’s press office didn’t respond to a call for comment Monday. According to a state budget briefing and WVEA Executive Director David Haney, what Justice meant by a 1 percent raise was giving teachers $404 atop the annual increment increase many receive for providing an additional year of service.

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