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West Virginia teachers in Northern Panhandle nearing their breaking point

Staff reports

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

Brooke County teachers Sara Roark, left, and Celesta Byard display signs along W.Va. 2 during an informational picket in Follansbee Monday afternoon.
(Intelligencer photo by Scott McCloskey)

WHEELING, W.Va. – Ahead of a possible strike, about 30 West Virginia teachers gathered outside a business owned by state Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, Monday afternoon to voice concerns over what they consider low pay and out of control health care costs.

Meanwhile, more than 60 Brooke County teachers formed picket lines along both sides of W.Va. 2 in front of Follansbee Middle School to express opposition to rising Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) premiums, while adding they do not believe the pay increases proposed in the Legislature are adequate for their efforts.

“We haven’t seen a pay raise in many years as teachers and service personnel and state employees,” Ron Ujcich, president of the Brooke County American Federation of Teachers, said. “If we do get a pay raise, they take it right back off of our insurance.”

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