West Virginia teachers still on strike; lawmakers try to reach pay deal

Teacher's Strike Causes Capacity Concerns at Capitol

All public schools in the state's 55 counties will remain closed until the strike is resolved, which is affecting almost 277,000 students and 35,000 employees.

Some critics say the strike is not even legal.

Neither union representatives nor a spokesperson for the state Senate was immediately available for comment.

The bottom line here for the vast majority of Americans is that this Supreme Court decision is a key part of a larger war against not just unions but the notion that there should be any restraint against the unchecked power of the affluent and corporations. The ruling would mean that unions in 22 states including West Virginia, where fair share fees are now allowed, would have significantly fewer resources to combat unfair labor practices and fight for better working conditions. Tonya McKinney said, "I love my students and will do anything to help them but it's impossible to work on 800 dollars a month".

All 55 West Virginia counties have been closed since late last week leading to development of the unifying slogan "55 Strong".

Under the bill, teachers will receive a $2,020 salary increase, service personnel will receive $1,100 and State Police will receive $2,160. Teachers eventually resolved that if they did, in fact, choose to remain indefinitely at the Capitol, this would have to be planned out for the following week, allowing them time to prepare to stay long-term.

[Our] health insurance was going to rise substantially.

A legislative conference committee appointed to resolve differences between the Senate and House proposals is scheduled to meet later Monday.

"I've seen this dysfunction in Washington". Nor will the striking teachers' commitment to providing food to the one in five students who live in poverty in their districts end soon either.

The reality is that employees in every state are paying too much for medical treatment. "But controlling health care costs is the real solution". West Virginia isn't alone, either.

While this reactionary drive by mostly Republican-dominated legislatures has succeeded in stifling union power at the state level, in West Virginia, it actually backfired-because the union leaders' deal with Justice didn't have any legal standing that teachers had to respect in any way.

A GoFundMe page for the striking workers had garnered more than $218,000 by midday Monday.

But, as the Supreme Court heard last Monday in oral arguments, "When unions are deprived of agency fees, they tend to become more militant, more confrontational". By March the teacher's original plan of a lobby day, or a rolling work stoppage, had been stepped up to a full fledged walkout, with overwhelming support from teachers regardless of their party affiliation.

The WV Teachers Strike Support Fund, started by citizens and not sponsored by unions, is created to help "teachers and school service personnel who are taking on great personal cost to organize and support their families during the strike". The teachers' strike, which shows no sign of ending, could cease, or the government could meet the needs of teachers with the pay raise, added benefits and improved working conditions that teachers are looking for. However, because West Virginia is not a collective bargaining state, the increase must be first be passed as a law to be brought into effect.

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