West Virginia teachers expected to return to schools on Thursday, teachers say fight is not over

West Virginia

Governor Jim Justice has proposed a deal yesterday for a five percent raise.

About 20 teachers from Jefferson County came out in front of Panera Bread in Ranson as a sign to thank the community for their efforts. Yesterday Governor Jim Justice  proposed that all state employees will receive a three percent raise while teachers will receive a five percent raise. West Virginia is among the lowest paying states for teachers.
 
“We were asking for it straight across the board and we’re not happy with that,” said Carol Caflisch, ESL teacher at Driswood Elementary.
 
Not happy for some. Others say this is the beginning. 
 
 “It’s a start, but it’s not the end game,” said Eli Paris, substitute teacher at Driswood Elementary.
There is still yet an agreement to be made over funding for West Virginia’s Public Employee Insurance Agency, which has been one of the focal points of the work stoppage.
 
 “We have always been offered a tremendous benefits package and that’s been worn down and away year by year,” said Caflisch.
 
Governor Justice said he would appoint a task force to look into solutions for PEIA health care costs. Public schools in all counties in West Virginia have been closed since last week on Thursday. Since the closure, teachers were involved in packing food bags for kids that needed lunch and volunteered to provide day care. Those here say there is still a lot of work to be done.
 
“We are most disappointed that it’s just a proposal,” said Caflisch.
 
West Virginia teachers are expected to go back to school tomorrow. Now school officials in Jefferson County say if an agreement can’t be reached in the House and Senate, then the union may call for another work stoppage.
 

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