CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After two years of work stoppages by teachers and school service personnel, a majority of the West Virginia Senate made it clear Monday that strikes and work stoppages by public employees are against the law.
Senate Bill 11, declaring work stoppages or strikes by public employees to be unlawful, passed 21-12. The only Republican to vote against the bill was Sen. David Stover, R-Wyoming, a retired school teacher. The bill now heads to the House of Delegates.
Strikes and work stoppages by public employees are already illegal. A 1990 decision by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, in a dispute between the Jefferson County Board of Education and teachers in that county, states “public employees have no right to strike in the absence of express legislation or, at the very least, appropriate statutory provisions for collective bargaining, mediation and arbitration.”
“It basically just states what is already the legal opinion of the Supreme Court,” said Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson. “It’s not changing anything legal.” …