West Virginia teachers celebrate pay win

Parry Casto a fifth-grade teacher at the Explorer

Lawmakers and teachers have come to a deal to end the West Virginia teachers' work stoppage. "We look forward to seeing our students tomorrow and getting back to business".

"Teachers, school service personnel, state employees and their allies have made their voices heard the past 9 days", House Minority Leader Tim Miley said.

The West Virginia Education Association hailed the deal, saying on its Facebook page: "WE WON!"

"There's no question they're going to sign it".

Andrea Lannom, statehouse reporter for The Register-Herald in West Virginia. They appeared to have strong public backing throughout their walkout.

Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, said by phone from West Virginia that the strike was indicative of the state's long history of labour activism and of the planning done by educators before walking out.

Eastern Panhandle school superintendents expressed gratitude in hearing the strike is over.

Without looking at all forms of compensation or adjusting for cost of living, average teacher salary rankings don't tell us all that much. Several other county school systems made similar announcements on Twitter.

Ujcich said the PEIA's financial status still must be addressed, but he has faith in the task force, which will include representatives of the AFT and WVEA.

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The teacher walkout began February 22, and during its nine-day span has affected an estimated 277,000 students and 35,000 school employees.

"We're so happy to be going back where we want to be and that's the classrooms", he said.

Teachers walked off the job February 22, balking at an initial bill signed by Gov. Jim Justice to bump up their pay 2 percent in the first year as they also complained about rising health insurance costs.

With teachers cheering from the gallery, the measure passed the House 99-0 Tuesday, providing 5 percent raises for teachers, school service personnel and state troopers. The House had backed a 5 percent increase, while the Senate favored 4 percent. The state senate had approved just a 4 percent raise.

Justice Tuesday afternoon signed the new public worker contract into law at a press conference in the state Culture Center.

Dana Goldstein, education reporter for the New York Times. "It's the idea and the premise that we ought to invest in education and let education be an economic driver for us". "That's all there is to it". Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, who is chairman of the Senate finance committee, said legislators will seek to cut state spending by $20 million, taking funds from general government services and Medicaid.

Union leaders haven't said whether they're calling for an end to the strike, pending a ceremony at the governor's office later Tuesday.

He said Tuesday that additional budget cuts by his staff will enable all state workers to also get 5 percent raises.

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