Work Stoppage

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.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, speaking during a Senate floor session.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography


State lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle met Tuesday for the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce's annual Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast in Martinsburg, where education and the teacher pay raise took center stage.

Teachers John and Kerry Guerini of Fayetteville, West Virginia, hold signs at a rally at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.
John Raby / Associated Press

The public education uprisings that began in West Virginia and spread to Arizona, Oklahoma and Kentucky share similar origin stories.

Teachers, long tired of low wages and a dearth of state funding, begin talking to each other online.

Their Facebook groups draw tens of thousands of members. They share stories of their frustrations and then they demand change.

TYLER EVERT / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The nine-day teachers’ strike in West Virginia made headlines across the country, and some are wondering what the events mean for state’s political landscape. How did a widespread labor strike, a practice normally associated with Democrats, happen in a state that voted so heavily for Donald Trump?

We wanted to take a step back to explore how politics have been changing here over the past generation. West Virginia has been dubbed the heart of Trump Country, but politics here are anything but straightforward.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Now that thousands of striking teachers across West Virginia have returned to work with a pay raise and a promise to fix their health care plan, how might their actions inspire others? It’s one of the questions we’ll explore on this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia.


Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing, health insurance
Dollar Photo Club

Six more women will join a task force to seek a long-term funding solution to an insurance program for teachers and other public employees.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the latest appointments Monday after receiving complaints that his initial picks included only two women.

On The Legislature Today, we bring you a special hour-long broadcast from the Capitol building in Charleston. Host Andrea Lannom chats with House Finance Chairman Del. Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, and House Finance Vice Chairman Del. Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, on the status of budget discussions with only one day left in the regular 2018 state Legislative session. We also look back at some of the major issues that unfolded over the last two months in our reporter roundtable.

What Are the Lessons from the Teachers' Strike?

Mar 9, 2018
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Now that the teacher and school employee work stoppage is finally at an end, Rick Wilson and Jessi Troyan are on the Front Porch take a look back and try to determine what comes next.

Is this really a resolution where everyone involved can "take home a win"?

With talk of similar actions in similar actions in Pittsburgh and Oklahoma, could this be a sign of more to come?

What does way the strike was handled on both sides say about West Virginia as a state?

Teachers and other state workers rally at the Capitol, Mar. 6, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine told reporters Thursday afternoon that all nine days of the recent teacher and school employee work stoppage would need to be made up by each county school district. However, counties will have control and flexibility on how they do it.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After nine long days of a teacher and service personnel work stoppage, it looks as if it’s come to an end. Lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a five percent pay raise for teachers as well as a five percent pay increase for all public workers. Following the signing, union leaders say they are readying teachers and other school workers to get back on the job. 


On The Legislature Today, an agreement among House and Senate conferees for a five percent pay raise for all of West Virginia’s public employees was announced Tuesday morning. Later that afternoon, both the House and Senate bodies approved HB 4145, giving teachers, school service personnel, and state troopers a five percent raise. Shortly after that, the bill was signed by Governor Jim Justice and will go into effect on July 1, 2018. Teachers erupted over the news that effectively began the end of a 9-day statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage. Host Andrea Lannom speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael to hear the latest.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) announced Tuesday it is extending the application deadline for Fall 2018 PROMISE scholarships to Friday, March 30, 2018.

Some students reported they had difficulty completing their PROMISE applications by the earlier deadline due to the statewide public school work stoppage, and legislators and the governor asked the Commission to provide relief, said HEPC Chancellor Dr. Paul L. Hill.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated on Mar. 6, 2018 at 8:30 p.m.

After nine long days of a teacher and service personnel work stoppage, it looks like it’s come to an end. Lawmakers have agreed to a five percent pay raise for teachers as well as a five percent pay increase for all public workers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Tuesday March 6th is the ninth day of the teacher and school personnel work stoppage over pay and benefits. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom spoke with Bob Brown of the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia chapter. The West Virginia Education Association, AFT, and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association said in a joint statement this weekend they were quote, "angry and disappointed” with the Senate’s actions. 


On The Legislature Today, conferees from the Senate and House met for the first time Monday afternoon, following their appointment Saturday night to work out their differences in a salary bill for teachers, school personnel, and other state employees. We bring you an update from the eighth day of the work stoppage, the latest action from the House and Senate floors, and host Andrea Lannom chats with Bob Brown, a representative from the American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia chapter.

On The Legislature Today, there’s only one full week left of the 2018 West Virginia Legislative session. In these final days, tensions continue to run high over the teacher work stoppage and the legislative process addressing the issues of PEIA and teacher salaries. Host Andrea Lannom is joined by fellow statehouse reporter Jake Zuckerman of the Charleston Gazette-Mail to breakdown all the action of the week and what’s to come as we near the final hours.

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.

John Raby / AP Photo

Updated: Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

 

Monday is set to be a pivotal day in the ongoing work stoppage for teachers and school service personnel across West Virginia. With the continued approach of county school officials remaining in question, the potential of legal action to be decided by the state board of education and legislative deadlines looming, educators and school workers yet again plan to head to the Capitol in Charleston to rally lawmakers for better pay and healthcare benefits.

Walter Scriptunas II / AP Photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation that will provide teachers, school service personnel and state police with a 2 percent pay increase starting in July. The signing of the bill comes on the eve of a two-day statewide work stoppage planned by teachers and service personnel amid growing frustrations over salaries, healthcare and other issues.