With Deal in Place, W. Va. Teachers to End Strike Thursday - NBC 10 Philadelphia

With Deal in Place, W. Va. Teachers to End Strike Thursday



    West Virginia Teacher Strike to Continue for Fourth Day

    West Virginia teachers told News4's Meagan Fitzgerald why they're striking to ask for a pay raise. (Published Monday, Feb. 26, 2018)

    Classes will resume in West Virginia on Thursday as Gov. Jim Justice struck a deal with protesting teachers throughout the state. 

    Justice announced Tuesday night that all teachers will receive a 5 percent raise. All other state employees will see a 3 percent raise this year.

    Schools will resume Thursday instead of Wednesday because some had already cancelled classes Wednesday. 

    The agreement comes as teachers throughout the state participated in a walkout that began Thursday, refusing to return to work until their complaints were heard. The walkout was is in its fourth day before the deal was announced.

    "I was not looking at this correctly," Justice said.

    The state's average teacher pay ranks 48th in the nation and teachers were balking at planned increases they said were too stingy.

    The teachers, represented by the American Federation of Teachers, the West Virginia Education Association and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, wanted Justice and leaders from the state Senate and House to meet with them on their complaints.

    Christine Campbell, the president of the AFT's West Virginia chapter, said there had been separate talks with various leaders but not with the governor, who spoke at town-hall style meetings Monday in the cities of Wheeling, Martinsburg and Morgantown. She said union officials had spoken at times with the governor's staff.

    Justice signed across-the-board teacher pay raises of $808 next year and $404 percent the following two years. But teachers said the increases weren't enough, especially as health care costs rise.

    Missed class time is automatically added to the end of the school year.