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School service personnel say pay is top priority

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association will enter the 2023 regular session with a little more clout in their lobbying efforts.

This will be the first session the association has gone to the capitol to work on issues for members as an affiliate of the United Mine Workers of America.

“We’ve always worked together in the past, just like we’ve always worked with other unions in he past. But by being affiliated with the UMWA we’ll be stronger and we’ll be advocating for each other and the issues that each of us face,” said Service Personnel Association Executive Director Joe White.

White minced no words when asked the top priority for his association in the coming session. In fact he suggested he probably sounded like a broken record when he said it’s been the same every session, members’ pay.

“When more than half of the service personnel in the state of West Virginia qualifies for federal assistance, we’ve got a problem with pay. So that’s going to be our top priority,” he explained.

White said as for other matters, a lot would depend on legislation which is presented. He expected to carefully examine each education bill to determine the impact on their members and decide which way they want to work on those issues, with the backing of the Mine Workers.

“If we have an issue or they have an issue, we will mention that as we’re talking with our colleagues and those who support our ideas, or possibly with those who do not support our ideas, but we have a chance to speak with,” he explained.

The regular session starts Wednesday at the State Capitol and will run for 60 days.

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