CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is proposing pay  for state workers in a tight budget year. The governor unveiled the plan during his State of the State Address Wednesday night.

Tomblin wants to increase teacher and school service personnel pay by 2 percent and give all other state workers a $504 increase. It will be the first pay raise for the workers in two years.

While encouraged a proposed raise made it into what’s expected to be a difficult budget year, West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee doesn’t want the discussion to stop at 2 percent.

“We have to come up with a long-term solution,” said Lee, who contends the state can attract qualified teachers with a multi-year pay raise proposal. “That will ensure that teachers want to come into the profession in West Virginia and stay in West Virginia, and it all revolves around the salaries.”

West Virginia American Federation of Teachers President Christine Campbell said it was good to hear the governor recognize the need.

“Given the fact that we have a really tight budget this year, it’s great that commitment is there,” Campbell said.

The teachers federation also supports including job-embedded professional development for teachers.


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  • jlk40

    I am reading all the negative comments about teachers and all I can say is WOW! So many uneducated, misinformed, and just ridiculious statements made against teachers. One of those statements being that most people become teachers because they can't handle any other major. Talk about teaching your children a negative attitude towards teachers, again WOW! I fully support WV teachers and the hard work they do everyday. My children have been raised to respect their teachers (and all adults). Education has a high value in our household. Because my children have been taught these values they have had wonderful teachers and a great education. Judging from many of the comments, most people seem to forget that education starts at home. Teach your children to have respect and in turn your
    children will have caring teachers that will go above and beyond to help your children succeed. Unfortunately, as neighboring states offer better pay, WV will continue to lose wonderful teachers for better pay.

    • Leo

      Thank you, we need more parents like you.

  • Misty

    I just moved to this area in August. This is the most anti-education community/ state I've ever lived.

    Most parents here are not supportive of schools and teachers. It shows in the schools and test scores!
    Start to value your child's education!!!

  • peg

    I am sick of teachers crying about their pay. You know what the salary range before you go into the field. So, if you don't like the salary go into another profession. At 40,000.00 annual pay is almost 20.00 per hour. Teachers are day shift-Mon/Fri MINUS holidays, snow days, & the SUMMER OFF WORK. So if you take that 40K annual divide it by the 180 instructional days sounds like good pay to me. They would really cry if they only made 10$ or 12$ per hour. If you want higher pay go ahead move out of WV. We don't need your whining

    • Alice

      "If you want higher pay go ahead move out of WV."

      Teachers aren't staying in West Virginia, especially recent graduates. Schools in WV have a lot of difficulty filling vacant teaching positions. There's a lot of positions being filled by long term subs who aren't certified in the subjects they are teaching.

    • stophating

      You kind of do need every teacher---take a look at the number of vacant positions statewide....

    • Barry Bledsoe

      Peg, you hit the nail on the head. And, they don't have to wear bullet proof vests to school. What do troopers get paid nowadays?

  • G Biser

    Teachers, you call yourselves "professionals" because you have a degree or degrees. Yet you belong to a union and talk of strikes and being unappreciated and under paid. Well, I am sorry but you decided to be a teacher instead of an engineer or some other technical profession. Perhaps you had wonderful reasons for becoming a teacher. Perhaps you thought you improve the future by educating the children and setting a good example for them. So , go right ahead and do those things, but understand you are not a technical professional and you will never be paid as one. You knew what the pay was when you entered teaching, so live with it. I struggled and worked my tail off for 5 years to become an engineer. I spent decades in jobs that ruin your health due to stress and dangerous job environments. I have worked as much as 52 hours straight without going home to solve a particular problem that needed fixed to get my company back up and running. And yes, I made a HUGE SALARY for doing these things and I made the decision to put myself in those difficult jobs. You want more money, go do something else, or move somewhere else. Just stop asking to be treated like technical professionals because you are not. Just teach the kids the basics they need to know, that is all I asked of you as a parent. Enjoy your summers off, your two week Christmas break, your spring break and your Thanksgiving break, and oh yea, then you can retire on a full state pension at 55. I am 57 and will be working for at least another 10 years. I do not have a pension and have to invest for my own retirement. So stop the whining and do your job. You want to strike, please do. Then we can bring in private teaching corporations that actually know how to teach.

    • Michael

      G Biser you are cancer dude. When was the last time someone walked into your office and opened fire on you and a classroom full of kids. Why don't you take all of your self made intelligence and get the hell out of this state yourself.

      It's funny. I never see 100+ posts from teachers complaining how engineers or "technical" positions make way too much money. Oh, I know why, because they have no time to sit online and post stupind comments like you did. They are working on tomorrows schedule and geting ready or grading papers. Get out please!!

    • stophating

      Where do these mythical for profit teaching corporations exist at?

    • Leo

      Wow, G Biser, who is doing all the whining? You are, so if it is too much for you, why don't you get another job. Saying teachers are not professionals just proves you are an idiot, we have more degrees than you ever will. That is like saying a doctor isn't a professional either. Those teachers at Sandy Hook and Columbine for example can make the same claims you just did, spending decades in jobs that ruin your health through stress and a dangerous work environment. Except that they can claim that they also protect children and some give their lives to save them, can you say that? I think you need to quit tooting your own horn and thank the "teachers" who taught you so you could get that degree which made you able to be called professional, because you wouldn't have it without them!

      • griff

        you want to talk about danger & stress. Go to work in a doctor's office. I expect one day & you would be crying to get back to a school job

        • Leo

          Danger and stress? How many doctor's office shootings have there been? Perhaps you should think before you speak. I guess it is stressful making all those appointments!

  • Sam

    I have been sitting here reading some of the comments. It would appear to me according to what has been said the solution to all the problems in education would to get rid of the teachers and start with what? This is a complex problem. It may be partially due to poorly prepared teachers. Whose fault is that? It may because of poor funding for teacher salaries, supplies, infrastructure, etc...
    Whose fault is that? It may be due to poor discipline in the class room. Whose fault is that? We can go on and on at the variety of problems in education. Teachers are not where the finger needs to be pointed.

    Teachers are not excempt from blame. They have become apathetic due to all the finger pointing and being at the bottom of the food chain. Every problem that exist is controlled by someone higher up on the evolutionary chain. Fix that problem and teachers will once again do what is necessary.

    We have a state legislature and government that thinks they can micromanage education. We have a federal government that does the same. You can't manage something without knowing what the problems are to start with. There are no test scores or studies that go into the classroom and see what a teacher is expected to face on a daily basis.

    Next we have a bloated state board of education that makes policies and rules based on their personal jobs. Most of theses policies are to propagate their own existance rather than raising educational standards.

    Then there are the students, the not so inocent part of the equation. They have been told they do not have to excel or attend school to get a quality education. In our state attendance laws are virtually non existant. The teacher can issue grades based on students performance but can be and often is over riden by administrators and parents. This tells student we can do what we want with out consequenses.

    This is just the tip of the ice berg. Education is not a one size fits all industry. Counties, schools, and teachers in their individual classrooms has to have the flexibilty to do what is going to work best to make the improvements we all want. Good teachers are made mediocre by policy.

    Do teachers deserve higher wages? Certainly, that is not the question. The answer is they will get what they deserve when they take back their profession and show growth in education. Until that happens nothing will change.

  • State Employee

    First of all I agree teachers are not paid enough. But, a 2% raise is much better than a $504 bonus. The teacher raise is permanent, the DOH bonus sounds like a one time shot. Take your 2% and be happy!

    • wvangler

      The DOH is only a small portion of the number of state workers. There are other agencies out there than the DOH you know.

      • State Employee

        I'm aware of that, I'm only saying that because I am one.

  • Joe

    Good point angler

  • wvangler

    There are state workers who supervise people with pH.D.'s who are on WIC. The way professional public workers with vastly more education than education majors are set below teachers is shocking.

  • James

    "Tomblin wants to increase teacher and school service personnel pay by 2 percent and give all other state workers a $504 increase. It will be the first pay raise for the workers in two years."

    Why are the service personnel getting the 2%?. Unkown to most West Virginias, WV shcool serivice personnle have the highest average salary in the Southeast Region. See 2012 K-12 Comparative Education Report, Southern Legislative Conference p 30.

    WV has the highest averae salary for bus drivers os states reporting data.

    They have riden the union coat tails in obscuirty and have become one of the highest paid sectors in the school system regionally if not nationally.

    WV has one of the highest per student costs, highest percentage paid for teacher benefits, only state to give sick leave for full year not just for contracted months.

    Wv has 2nd lowest student teacher ration in region, i.e studens per teacher.

    Salary disparity is not as wide as we are lead to believe. See again page 30 of the above report.

    When cost of living is taken into account the disparity is less.

    Reviewing the report will shed a new light on the plight of the teaches and their demands.

    • wvu999

      Some school service personnel start at $18,000 a year.

      • Aaron

        Does that market bear a higher salary for the work that position provides?

  • frustrated

    Education in WV has become a big problem.
    There r some good teachers out there..but he bad out weighs the good. I have a child in school who is a senior this far she has had 4 math teachers..not certified to teach math.. and don' even know where to start.... a not certified Spanish teacher and and English teacher who has been in and out most of the year for personal reasons..Now somebody tell me how u r supposed to be prepared for college in a situation like this. The students r learning nothing in our public schools..It is still the good ole boy policy!!

  • thornton

    I'm guessing Mr. Lee would be a good actor for the JG Wentworth commercials of folks stamping their feet wanting money...NOW. In his case, it would always be more money though...and not his.

    Take the lucre, shut the yap and work to clean up the schools of the bad know, the ones that are inconvenient to admit actually exist.

  • Leo

    Thank you to the commenters below for your support. It is great to finally not be called a loser for wanting to be paid our worth. BTW, WV starting teachers don't make 40,000+, that would be the neighboring states!

    • WhgFeeling

      Nope they may not make $40k to start but the median income is, what, somewhere close to $44k/yr?

      • Jason412

        Yes, the median is right around 44. I think starting is 35 or 36.

        • wardog10

          Starting Salary is $29,000 a year for a teacher with a Bachelors right out of college.

  • ron "from morgantown"

    Teachers need to organize and walk out of the classroom until they are respected by the politicians in Charleston . Teachers are professionals just like doctors , lawyers and accountants . But in West Virginia they are treated like blue collar workers . That needs to stop . Take a stand teachers ! Be bold ! You walked out on Caperton and got instant respect . West Virginia will support you , we understand that you are being treated like a mule in the mines by the gutless politicians in West Va. But we can't fight this battle for you , you must be bold , you must be organized , you must speak as one . And most importantly , you must walk out of the classroom as one and don't go back until your voice is heard ! How can we be sympathetic to your concerns if your not willing to stand up for yourself ? Its time to teach the politicians a lesson in civil disobedience ( as well as your students ) and WALK out of the classroom in protest over the utter disregard being shown by the politicians . We, the citizens of West Virginia, will wait and see if you care enough about your dignity to do something about it . God Bless .

    • TheFungoKnows

      If the teachers strike, I hope the Ronald Reagan/Air Traffic Controllers situation hits them square between the eyes. Fire them all.

      • Steve


    • Aaron

      Two things Ron...

      You said Teachers must organize. I'm curious, are you aware of what FDR said about public employees organizing?

      Second, you mentioned when Caperton caved to teachers and gave increases that ranked WV teachers 32nd in pay. I ask this below but I would really like your answer. What improvements did taxpayers, and more importantly, our children, receive from Caperton's pay increase?

    • PMQ

      Ron...."Teachers are professionals just like doctors , lawyers and accountants".....Really????? When is the last time doctors, lawyers and accountants, walked out on strike???? To be treated like a professional, you need to ACT like a professional.

      • Leo

        I bet your kids are some of the entitled, lazy, need to be paddled ones we have to put up with every day, thanks a lot PMQ.

        • PMQ

          No, I retired(IBM) after a successful career of 38 years in MIS. I moved up the ladder, getting better jobs along the way. I did it myself, not sitting on my backside, like you, and eating off the Government teet. Grow up.

          • Leo

            You're going to have to do better than that big boy, you are making yourself sound ridiculous. Take a chill pill and admit that there are good teachers out there who deserve a salary that will allow them to be above the poverty level and take care of their families. Enjoy your retirement.

        • PMQ

          Whay.....put your big boy pants on, and quit complaining. You have to earn respect, and your gripping and whining does nothing to earn respect or credit. If you do not like YOUR career choice, change it!! I worked in the school system for 9 years, Medical School for 2 years, Union Carbide, Columbia Gas, IBM for 38 years....if you think you have it tough, you are wrong. Private business DOES NOT work the way you do. Most of you would not make it in business where there are reviews, where you are not guaranteed employment. So grow up, and quit complaining.

          • Leo

            Wow, sounds like you have trouble completing things. Haven't quite found your niche yet, well, don't worry big boy, someday you will actually stay at one job.

        • PMQ

          BTW Leo, if you are a teacher, and I assume you are. Why are you not teaching some children, rather than trolling on a website??? You are part of the problem, not the solution.

          • Leo

            Well PMQ, it is called the flu and believe me I would much rather be at work, but I was sent home. So sorry, I am not part of the problem. The problem is no accountability on the part of the students. And that kids, from reading these posts, have been taught to not respect their teachers.

        • PMQ

          No Leo, all of my kids have gainful employment. All are college grads. Paid for by us. Also, I worked in a school system, county office for over 9 years. Worked in classrooms each and everyday. Saw what goes on, on a daily basis. Most do not act as professionals. They act with a union mentality, want to strike, get paid for each extra 5 minutes they work...please.

    • wvfreys

      Yes they are professionals, except most are teachers because the FAILED at becoming doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Their voice is heard and all it says is "give us more money, even though we have some of the worst prepared and worst educated students in America.

    • Steve

      Hey ron, here is an idea...

      walk out of the classroom and move to another state where you can get the pay you want. I'm sure this worst in the country education system you help be a bottom feeder won't miss you.

      See ya!

    • Independent View

      What a childish rant that should inflame every taxpayer, Ron. To equate teachers as professionals as compared to doctors and lawyers is ludicrous. For years, I sat in classes with education majors. The majority were ed.majors for two primary reasons: the hand no idea what they wanted to do with their lives or the curriculum was easier than engineering, pre-med, chemistry, mathematics, etc.
      Now, to my point, for decades West Virginians have been and continue to throw money at education in the form of teacher pay raises, increased fringe benefits, adding teacher assistants, more planning time, new schools, new technology, etc., etc. Are there results from these billions spent? Yes, Johnny still cannot read! How can the teachers' unions, teachers collectively and individuality and you Ron, look in the mirror and in good concious have the nerve to ask for raises? In reality, teachers should rebate part of their salaries back to their respective school boards due to their failure to keep their triate and worn-out promise: "give us more money and WV education will impove." Not only has it not improved after decades and billions of dollars, it continues in a downward spiral! As for this taxpayer, I will not suppport or vote for another school levy until teachers and their unions keep their promise of long ago--education will impove--it has not!
      The majority of teachers would not last beyond their first preformance review in the private sector!

      • Buddy Boy

        How can education improve without proer disicpline and accontability. Bring back the paddle and stop forcing teachers to pass kids who don't deserve it and education will improve faster than anything.

        • Leo

          Thank you!

      • Full Time Worker

        AMEN, Independent View. The only reasons most people become teachers is they want summers off and they couldn't handle other majors. I remember when I was a senior at WVU, I had 5 presentations, as well as, 4 finals during finals week. The elementary education majors had to create a classroom bulletin board as their final project. One bulletin board. I don't think teachers should get raises while our kids can't read. Show some major improvement in our kids, and then I'll consider a raise. Most of the rest of us "professionals" have also gone several years without a raise. Teachers aren't the only ones. My paycheck doesn't get bigger, but my tax bill does and now you want me to pay for their raises?

    • No Luck

      Ron...they are the politicians in Charleston. Its partially their own fault their pay stinks. I will continue to recognize the fact WV teachers have horrific on compensation on many levels, which has far reaching effects into the education system as a whole, but they have had significant influence (I.e. > 21% representation) in the legislature forever. cannot just throw money at some of the the teachers hoping they will improve. This is a long term problem that needs a long term solution to recruit the best and retain only the best.

      • Aaron

        Your statement that teachers have "horrific compensation on many levels" is inaccurate. While the profession may pay less in WV than other states, the compensation they receive relative to others in the state is above average.

        The median household income in WV for all individuals is $40K while it's $45K for teachers. That doesn't even take into account to other compensation factors teachers receive versus private employees,

      • Barry Bledsoe

        No do you justify the statement, "WV teachers have horrific compensation on so many levels?"
        Where do you get the statistics to back that statement? First, compare WV teacher salary to the median or average income in WV. Second, compare their take home pay and it's total worth to that of other states, when taking cost of living into consideration. Third, how is it "horrific" on so many levels when taking their benefits into account, which places them tenth overall against the rest of the nation? Fourth, compare it to other state employees, who qualify for welfare, some of whom also have a degree! Fifth, how is it "horrific" when you look at the cars in the parking lot? I doubt that many of them have to worry about breaking down on the way to school! Now, just to head off the arrows that will be shot at me. I would like to see teachers get a raise, based on MERIT, but not an across the board raise. And I would like to see where the money will come from, when we have a projected $315 million dollar shortfall projected for next year.

  • Don monroe

    the min wage needs to go up before the teachers get a raise normal workers who make 7.25 make less the 18,000 a year teachers made 40 plus what wrong with that picture

    • Jim

      Excuse me Don but comparing a minumum wage job to a teachers job is pretty funny. $18,000 dollars is pretty good for an entry level job. And don't use the arguement that you can not feed a family on that. Entry level jobs arn't ment to raise a family on period.

    • GWB

      Minimum wage workers are minimally trained and educated. Get the same education as a teacher and then you can compare wages.

      • WhgFeeling

        Many state employees have the same or more than some teachers yet they make a nominal amount in comparison.

    • wvu999

      There are some many things wrong with what you just said I don't know where to begin.


  • wvu999

    What's funny is that if the WVU football team was ranked 49th in the country and money could turn them in to a national contender I bet the money would find its way to Morgantown. However, when it comes to your children's future the money simply isn't there. Yeah, it's not funny at all. It's sad.

    • Aaron

      How much improvement did we receive in our educational system when Gaston Caperton caved to teacher demands and increased pay to 32nd in the nation?

    • wvfreys

      your an idiot

      • James


        [You're] an idiot! I see the WV education system did you well.

    • Steve

      So what you're saying is the teachers we have now are all idiots and money would attract better ones.

      Fine, fire all those idiots (including you), up the pay, and bring in the so-called good teachers that will bring this bottom feeding education system to the top.

      • wvu999

        Not idiots at all. But 6 out of every 10 chemistry, physics, math, special Ed teachers are not fully certified.

        If you want your children being taught those subjects from people who may not even have a teaching degree then keep on keeping on.

        • Steve

          Then bring in the good teachers and pay them. A physics teacher should be paid more than a gym teacher. Or driver's ed teacher.

          This argument that "we all need higher pay to be better teachers" is a laugh. As is the "we need higher pay to bring in good teachers." That implies the ones here now are incompetent. Judging by education system in WV being dead last in the country, that seems accurate.

          So, what is the union response to all these incompetent teachers? Why, give them all a raise!


          I just laugh and laugh at these teachers contradicting themselves with their silly arguments. It's no wonder WV ranks dead last.

          • Alice

            We don't need higher pay to attract "better teachers". We need higher pay to attract teachers period. Do you realize how difficult it is for schools in WV to get and retain teachers? We've either been importing them in from New York and Pennsylvania (and they only stay short term in that case) or we've been relying on long term subs who aren't certified to fill positions.

        • Aaron

          I would prefer my child had been taught Science by a retired DuPont Chemist but that individual was not allowed to teach in WV because he didn't hold a WV teaching certification.

          There are alternatives out there but the teacher unions keep them out. Wonder why that is.

    • Jason412

      People are tired of paying more for the same old results, an F in student achievement. Fact is paying this money is not an "investment in our children's future" if it continues to be more of the same.

    • Charles

      Wrong!!! Wvu athletics is fully self sufficient and is not allowed any state money. Those who choose to support it find it through Mac donations. Which I'm allowed and others to donate to whatever I wish. Now marshall. 20 plus million of state money funded their athletic program. So complain about that all you want. But not Morgantown.

      • wvu999

        I know that. The point I was trying to make was about priorities.
        I am actually a WVU grad and MAC member.