Pay Raise

Assistant News Director Glynis Board leads a discussion with activist Robert Grossman of Morgantown on one of several criminal justice reform bills that have been considered this session. We also bring you the latest updates from the House of Delegates and Senate.

A long-sought funding formula for higher education will have to wait even longer. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with two delegates – both members of Gov. Jim Justice’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education – who provide us with an update. We also bring you the latest legislative action from the statehouse.

Wednesday is crossover day, meaning it’s the last day for the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to consider bills on third reading, or voting stage, in their chamber of origin. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso about legislation they hoped would make it out and on legislation they still hope to consider.

This week, we've seen a teacher and school workers strike, the death of a massive controversial education bill, and a campus-carry gun bill zoom through the House of Delegates. We bring you up-to-date on all these issues and more.

It was the second day of a statewide teacher and service personnel walkout over a comprehensive education reform bill. We bring you up-to-date on the latest action, and we also bring you special reports on black lung-related legislation, economic development, and tourism.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

A West Virginia university's operating budget that includes a 5 percent raise for university employees has been approved.

News outlets reported Wednesday the Marshall University Board of Governors approved the school's fiscal year 2019 operating budget, which also includes a 4.25 percent tuition increase.

On The Legislature Today, protesting teachers returned to the Capitol, ignoring their union leadership and extending a work stoppage for a fifth day statewide. Acting on a revised revenue forecast from Gov. Jim Justice, the House of Delegates moved swiftly Wednesday night to pass a new 5 percent pay raise package for teachers, service personnel and state police, with raises for additional state employees to be addressed in the budget bill. But a fix for PEIA is still the issue.

On The Legislature Today, teachers, school service personnel and other public employees returned for the second of a two-day work stoppage as frustrations linger over salaries and healthcare. Leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association announced Friday that the work stoppage will continue Monday. But will it be just that -- a work stoppage -- or a full-on strike? Here’s the latest from the statehouse in this week’s reporter roundtable.

On The Legislature Today, hundreds of teachers rallied at the Capitol. Teachers from selected counties staged walk-in's and walk-outs, and Governor Jim Justice cancelled a scheduled press conference where it was planned he would talk about education issues. Host Andrea Lannom chats with fellow statehouse reporters Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Ryan Quinn of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in another reporter roundtable.

Gloria Triplett, a reading specialist at East Chapmanville Elementary School, holds signs Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, during a teacher rally at the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / Associated Press

Before a gallery packed with teachers, West Virginia's Senate approved a bill Friday to give them annual pay raises of 1 percent over a four-year period, a move that both teachers and many senators said wasn't enough.

The bill passed on a 33-0 vote after a lengthy discussion. One senator was absent.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee took up a bill that would give Division of Natural Resources law enforcement officers a raise in the upcoming fiscal year and every year following. 

The bill raises the base salary for new officers from $31,222 in their first year to $33,994. All other officers will receive a bump in the range of two to six thousand dollars a year.

The introduced version of the bill also grants the officers a $400 a year raise for every year they remain on the force.

Marshall University
Wikipedia / en.wikipedia.org

Faculty and staff at Marshall University are getting pay raises.

The Herald-Dispatch reports that Marshall's Board of Governors approved the pay raises on Wednesday during its regular meeting. The raises total about $1.5 million.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee Friday approved Senate Bill 379 to remove a salary cap for county employees, if the county finds they have the funds.

Originally the bill required a 12 percent pay raise, but it was amended to ensure lawmakers weren’t passing an unfunded mandate.

“We are not voting for an increase for elected officials. We are lifting a cap in which they can work with their own money. So, this is no state money,” Sen. John Unger said during the meeting.

The West Virginia Senate Education Committee is proposing a sweeping $1,000 pay raise for teachers.
 
The bill originally proposed a 2 percent raise.
Committee Chair Bob Plymale says they hope the raise will begin to attract highly qualified teachers.
 
He says many teachers across the state are nearing retirement and the committee wants to compete for new teachers nationally.
 
While the committee doesn't feel an across-the-board raise of $1,000 is competitive enough, Plymale says it's a start.