Teachers gathered on the steps of the state Capitol Sunday to rally support for electoral candidates who say they will make “fixing” the Public Employee Insurance Agency a top priority.
Organizers hope to continue the momentum they built during the March teacher’s walkout. That action resulted in a 5 percent pay increase for WV teachers and other state employees. Now, they want to tackle PEIA.
Dale Lee is the president of the West Virginia Education Association. He said it’s important for teachers to show that the work in March and February was just the beginning, and that they will continue working in unity to put elected leaders in office that support their platform.
“I’m a member of the PEIA task force, and so we want to make sure that the recommendations that are made are carried through at the legislature,” Lee said. “And I don’t believe that this current legislature makeup - that the actions that are needed can get through.”
The president of the American Federation of Teachers said they’re asking for an ongoing investment in both West Virginia education and West Virginia teachers. Christine Campbell addressed the crowd from the steps of the Capitol.
“You have the strength to continue the fight for our children, our schools and our communities,” she said. “You are on the right side of justice and your work is imperative for the future of West Virginia.”
Other speakers included West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Delegate Mike Caputo and several campaigning Democrats. No Republicans spoke during the rally.