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Nearly one year later, West Virginia teachers’ focus still on PEIA

By JORDAN NELSON

The Register-Herald

Teachers, school personnel and supporters from all 55 counties joined together in unity at the Capitol in Charleston on Feb. 26, 2018, for a rally during day three of a statewide walkout. Video coverage from the strike is available on register-herald.com.
(Register-Herald photo by Rick Barbero)

BECKLEY, W.Va. — It was a dreary, cold Saturday afternoon in February 2018 when union leaders in West Virginia announced all teachers and public school personnel would unite in a statewide walkout. The union protest would last nine days as teachers fought for a pay raise and a fix to their insurance coverage.

Gov. Jim Justice would offer teachers and other public school personnel a compromise to bringing the walkout to a close — a 5 percent pay raise and a promise to come up with an answer to their health insurance plan through the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA).

Now, with 2019 on the horizon, teachers may have gotten their raise and a promise for another 5 percent pay hike in the legislative session to commence soon after the turn of the calendar, but there is not yet a permanent fix to PEIA.

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