West Virginia schools are still closed as teachers strike for better wages enters its fourth day

West Virginia public schools remained closed Tuesday as teachers continue their strike for better wages.


The public schools in West Virginia were still closed Tuesday thousands of teachers to put their demands for better wages.

Striking teachers requested a face-to-face meeting with Gov. Jim Justice and the leaders of the state legislature to address their complaints, a union official said Monday.

Teachers announced that they would continue to strike until they are granted a meeting with the state of the leaders, said Christine Campbell, president of the American Federation of Teachers, West Virginia chapter.

The strike began on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.


“You have to come to the table. We can’t have five different conversations,” Campbell said. Until everyone comes together at once, ” she continued, “We are not going back” to the class.

The average salary for West Virginia teachers are among the lowest in the country.


Last week, on the eve of the strike, the state’s Republican governor signed a bill into law that would increase pay for teachers and staff. Teachers would see a pay increase of $808 next year and $404 the following two years. The teachers said that the increase is not enough, especially as the cost of healthcare to rise.

The state of the average teacher pay is among the lowest in the country.


On Monday, the Justice department spoke with teachers and others at three stops in the northern part of West Virginia, where he promised to launch a task force to address education problems within a week to 10 days. He urged the teachers to return to work Tuesday.

Justice said larger increases would follow if the numbers next year to confirm the state of the economic recovery. Teachers need to push for a higher severance tax on natural gas to permanently fix the funding for the insurance program for them and other public employees, he added.


In other developments, State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine said a decision Monday whether to add an item to the state Board of Education meeting Tuesday that it would discuss possible legal action against the teachers. He said that the work stoppage is illegal and interferes with the learning of students.

It was unclear Tuesday morning when an item is added to the meeting on the agenda.

The senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, called for the teachers to stop the strike.

“It is incredibly disappointing; you can hear the people singing in the galleries will be disrespectful in the process and so forth,” Carmichael told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I find it disrespectful to our students, our parents, and to all that are related to the provision of education to our students. It is absolutely necessary that the teachers of our schools back to work, and we ask them to do this.”

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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