CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The three organizations representing the thousands of education workers across the state are urging their members to travel to the state capitol Monday after the state Senate voted Saturday night to reduce a House of Delegates-passed pay raise bill from five percent to four percent.
“We call for all education employees and supporters to be at the capitol on Monday to deliver a clear message to Senator Carmichael and his leadership team,” the joint statement from the West Virginia Education Association, West Virginia American Federation of Teachers and West Virginia School Service Personnel Association said.
The statement also indicated that schools would be closed for an eighth straight Monday and for the foreseeable future.
“Senator Carmichael and the Senate leadership team leave us no choice – all public schools in West Virginia will be closed again on Monday and remain closed until the Senate honors the agreement that was made,” the organizations said.
“The House lived up to the agreement (of a 5 percent pay raise), the governor lived up to that agreement and that agreement was broken right here,” WVEA President Dale Lee said.
The groups said teachers and school service personnel have the support of county school superintendents.
West Virginia Association of School Administrators President Gary Price, the superintendent of schools in Marion County, said the only way to get the teachers and school service personnel back on the job was for the Senate to pass the five percent bill.
“We understand that this is not a problem they created, however, it is a problem that only the Senate was in a position to stop the work stoppage,” Price said. “We wish that would have taken that step but they did not and the work stoppage drags on.”