CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers will be looking for a pay raise when the legislative session starts in January. The request is almost considered an automatic part of the organization’s priority list annually.
“We’re always looking for an increase in teacher pay,” said President Christine Campbell. “We stay at the bottom nationwide, we’ve really got to look at investing in quality educators in the state of West Virginia if we want to see an increase in student achievement.”
As usual, there are indications of a very tight budget on the horizon and pay raises for anybody will be hard to find. Campbell said what her organization is looking for is more than a one time across the board increase. They’d rather see something built in gradually so the state could absorb the cost.
“We would like to work with the legislators to look for something a little more long term,” she said on MetroNews Talkline. “A package over time, so it’s not a burden to the state all at once.”
However, the legislative agenda for the teachers union goes beyond just increased pay. Campbell said pay is only a part of what is needed to improve student achievement. The second, and more challenging part is to improve classroom resources and remove obstacles for teachers in the classroom.
“Our members want resources in the classroom,” Campbell said. “They want to have smaller class sizes to address the needs of all students. We want to be able to incorporate professional development and collaboration into the day to meet the needs of all students.”
They’ll be communicating those needs to lawmakers and the Tomblin Administration as the session opens in January.