West Virginia Teachers Continue to Strike Over Denied Pay Raise

Classes in West Virginia, which have been indefinitely cancelled since Feb. 22, have not yet resumed.

This is a photo of West Virginia.

Image via Getty/The Washington Post

This is a photo of West Virginia.

Teachers in West Virginia have no intention on returning to their classrooms on Monday morning.

Positive progress towards the union's overall goal—to achieve just a five percent raise—has been made, but the teachers want more.

While they successfully negotiated a deal with the Republican Governor Jim Justice last week to reach their goal, that progress has been reverse by a legislative body. Particularly, NPR reports that on Saturday night, the state Senate failed to pass a four percent raise for public school teachers.

Meanwhile, in addition to Governor Justice's support, the GOP-dominated House of Delegates have already agreed to pass a five percent raise. However, in an official statement released by his office, Governor Justice stressed that "mistakes and differences aside," his reasoning was not because he feels the teachers should get a raise, but instead, that students need to return to class.

The educators have been on a statewide strike since Feb. 22 across all 55 counties. Overall, 277,000 public school students—who have spoken out in support of their teachers—have been missing class for the past few weeks.

According to The Associated Press, the teachers are represented by the West Virginia Education Association and have also received support from the state branch of the American Federation of Teachers and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association.

As a result, two new bills will have to be reviewed by a legislative conference committee.

Although West Virginia is the 48th-worst state for teacher pay, the teachers know what's up, like the one who allowed a student to smoke weed in a shop class. But we can't speak for everyone else, especially the dude who squirted semen at a woman in Wal-Mart and the people who used a racial slur towards Michelle Obama.

If the Senate continues its antics, the students' spring break will turn into a spring vacation, because it's painfully obvious the teachers aren't backing down from their fight soon.

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