All of West Virginia's public schools are closed due to a teacher walk-out over pay

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22 Feb 2018 23:54 - +9329
> The work stoppage comes after Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation late Wednesday night granting teachers a 2% pay increase starting in July, followed by 1% pay increases over the next two years. Keeping in mind that cost of living increase is commonly [3-5% annually](
23 Feb 2018 01:40 - +6195
As others have said, this is not solely about pay. It is mainly about the PEIA insurance premiums going up a substantial amount (almost doubling I think?) from last year. Although teachers in WV are also severely underpaid (49th nationally).
23 Feb 2018 02:24 - +5301
West Virginian here. My father is a public school teacher. It's for much more than just teachers that this is happening. This is happening to all state employees (state police, road workers, etc). Teachers are the only ones "able" to strike, even though it's still technically not allowed. I don't know about the rest of the US, but around here the teachers are the most organized of the groups that are affected, so their strike is speaking for all the other state employees who aren't able to strike. My dad, who's 2 years or so from retiring, is going to get a $400/year raise over last year, but insurance is going up $1500 from last year. So my parents will be making $1100 less. Edit: sorry I wasn’t clear. By able to strike I meant by them striking schools just close for a day. It’s the least damaging where as you can’t really have all the state cops walk out. I misread a comment earlier about them not being allowed to strike by their contract, but I guess they can, so that was my mistake.
23 Feb 2018 00:23 - +3029
Greedy greedy teachers. When will they learn that they only deserve $20k per year and that is GENEROUS. What do we even need school teachers for? The development of our children? How needy are kids these days that they need affluent liberal money-mongers to spoon feed them basic facts. SAD!
23 Feb 2018 00:15 - +2420
Teachers in WV total around 19,000 and the student count is around 270,000. I am hoping that everyone can resolve this but it's not looking great. I should note that a large amount of local teachers and businesses are supplying students with free lunches in certain areas. No child should ever go hungry.
23 Feb 2018 00:53 - +1714
If you honestly think teachers make too much I suggest you go try it. Such an easy job and all right?! Go be a substitute on the side and make all that extra cash. Good luck.
23 Feb 2018 02:04 - +1589
My wife is a teacher and her raise for next year is 2%. There is a schedule the district has that shows you how much you make year to year, unless they vote to change it in which case the pay scale always goes down. Keep in mind, the district’s superintendent gets a car and free healthcare on top of their $280,000 a year salary. Edit: Since this is getting a little attention everyone should know that public service employees salaries are public record. You can literally look it up online and know what teachers and superintendents are being paid.
23 Feb 2018 01:23 - +1365
The best thing WV can do is reduce the number of counties. Reduce the number of school superintendents, admins, etc. Reduce the number of county judges, clerks, state reps, and all other government employees. The state has 55 counties with only 1.4 million residents. NY has 62 counties and a population of nearly 20 million.
23 Feb 2018 02:33 - +1000
There's something the article doesn't state here. The Teachers aren't protesting for themselves: they're protesting for the state. Back in 1990, Teachers went on strike in WV, resulting in all government employees losing the ability to strike. The State's bill increases insurance premiums by $7,000 dollars, while also removing coverage. **This affects all state employees**. That means State Police, WVDOH, and anyone else employed on the state level. That means that the teachers are also at risk of losing their jobs, but they're the safest. They attempted to sign a 4% pay raise, but for someone earning $20,000 a year, that's only an additional 800 annually. That sounds like a lot, but it's just trying to cover up the $7,000 loss.
23 Feb 2018 00:32 - +611
Those kids don't need an education anyway. Trump's gonna bring back the coal industry and they can all go work in the mines.
23 Feb 2018 01:16 - +541
I have nothing but respect for our teachers. They have to deal with annoying students, spend considerable amounts of their own time grading work, often have to put their own money into their job, and they get fuck all for it. I have even more respect for those who go above and beyond to make their classes fun and enjoyable for their students for nothing extra in return.
23 Feb 2018 01:37 - +273
At least they can walkout. I'm a Maryland teacher and we can't do a whole lot of anything. We aren't even officially allowed to have a union. We haven't gotten a cost of living in my county in a number of years. Most of what step we have gotten (if we did get our step that year) is eaten up higher taxes, health care premium hikes, or more contributions in pension.
23 Feb 2018 02:24 - +170
Union spirit reviving? Could this mean strikes everywhere over corporate domination over public life next?
23 Feb 2018 00:59 - +153
I'm to jaded with all the other issues at hand so I'm going to get high and play video games for most of today and every other day from now untill forever okay bye
23 Feb 2018 01:57 - +94
I just left work to walk to lunch and there is a school next door. Public support (by way of honking” seems overwhelming.
23 Feb 2018 02:36 - +90
Can't speak for WV, but here in CA we have a problem with huge sums of money wasted on administration. Tiny school districts have popped up that look after 4-5 schools with the same size school district administrative staff as places looking after 30 schools, and they all have brand new multi-million dollar offices. It's a terrible waste, and it's teachers who are expected to take lower wages. The district parking lots, all sizes, are packed with $50k+ German cars. But the administration would never identity themselves as the waste that needs cutting.
23 Feb 2018 02:32 - +74
Teachers are so underpaid it’s crazy. In Oregon you need a masters to teach and in my local district pay starts at around 44k. I work at the district office and I get paid around the same and my job only requires a bachelors.
23 Feb 2018 02:26 - +71
Good for them, hopefully their voices are heard. I think every job in America should be adjusted every year for inflation.
23 Feb 2018 02:26 - +37
Good. They really deserve to be paid way more tbh.
23 Feb 2018 02:45 - +29
Time for WV to legalize weed and pump that money directly into the teachers and infrastructure the way every other state should.
23 Feb 2018 02:40 - +27
West Virginia is in a pretty shit spot tbh. I’m from Cabell County myself feeling like this on top of the drug epidemic(the overdoses are REALLY bad here) coupled with the overarching issuing of coal energy dying out really makes me feel sad for my state. Bad enough people leave this state because they can’t even make a living here despite having degrees. I have talked to a couple of delegates who said that is another big issue that really doesn’t help us either. The population dwindles and all anybody ever cares about is football. I hope my state diversifies at some point but it is looking like when I graduate from college I’m out of here.
23 Feb 2018 02:51 - +14
Hmm if only there's a way of helping the state school system by adding millions to the economy and also attacking the opioid epidemic...

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