Teacher Walkout

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a new investigative documentary dissects how public health officials and environmental regulators at both the state and federal level handled the 2014 chemical spill, which left hundreds of thousands of people without potable water.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Oklahoma's two largest school districts were closed Thursday for the ninth consecutive day because of a teacher strike.  Oklahoma’s strike now matches the length of a walkout in West Virginia earlier this year. The strike in West Virginia started a rebellion of teachers in some Republican-led states.

Teachers hold a rally outside the Senate Chambers in the West Virginia Capitol Monday, March. 5, 2018 in Charleston, W.V. Hundreds of teachers from 55 counties were on strike for pay raises and better health benefits.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

The 2018 West Virginia teacher strike earned international attention. In the weeks following the strike's end, The Charleston Gazette-Mail began a multi-media project to capture the strike using crowd sourcing and staff reporting.

In collaboration with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and documentary filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon, the Gazette-Mail produced a two part video series about the strike.

Hundreds of Kentucky teachers protest outside of Gov. Matt Bevin's office on Friday, March 30, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky.
Adam Beam / Associated Press

Hundreds of teachers crammed into the Oklahoma Capitol for a second day Tuesday, April 4, to press demands for additional funding for the state’s public schools, and many of those schools remained closed amid a rebellion that has hit several Republican-led states across the country.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, during the teacher strike a couple of weeks ago, educators were asking for two main things: a pay raise, and a fix for the public employees health insurance program -- PEIA. While the program’s finance board ultimately agreed to freeze proposed changes that would have increased insurance costs, truly fixing PEIA in the long term might not be that simple. Kara Lofton takes a look at the rising cost of health care nationally and some of the other factors that affect the state employee healthcare program.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Since late February tree sitters have been perched in two trees atop Peters Mountain in Monroe County. They are so remote, few have seen or heard directly from the protestors, but still there’s plenty of people noticing. Nancy Andrews reports. 

And we’ll hear a preview of this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, which explores the lessons of the recent W.Va. Teacher Strike.

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.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Wyoming County was the first to decide to walk off the job during the recent statewide teacher strike, starting what some folks are calling a labor movement. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly caught up with Wyoming County teacher Nina Tunstelle on her way up to Charleston before the walkout ended.

Scott Finn / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Charleston Gazette-Mail, in collaboration with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon, is producing a crowd-sourced mini-documentary on the just-completed West Virginia teacher strike.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the teacher work stoppage is over and schools are back in operation, so now attention at the Capitol has shifted to the state’s budget.

Teachers and supporters fill the Capitol Building March 5, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Now that teachers and other school employees across West Virginia have returned to the classroom, lawmakers are turning their attention to the budget to pay for 5 percent raises for educators, service personnel – and the salary hike promised for all public employees.

Students have breakfast at Stonewall Jackson Middle School on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Robert Ray / Associated Press

Schools across West Virginia reopened Wednesday as families got back into their daily routines following a nine-day teacher strike.

The strike was declared over Tuesday, March 6, after the Legislature passed and the governor signed a 5 percent pay raise to end what’s believed to be the longest strike in state history. The last major strike, in 1990, lasted eight days.

Teachers hold a rally outside the Senate Chambers in the West Virginia Capitol Monday, March. 5, 2018 in Charleston, W.V. Hundreds of teachers from 55 counties were on strike for pay raises and better health benefits.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia’s Republican leaders tentatively agreed Tuesday to end the state’s nine-day teachers’ walkout by giving 5 percent raises to not just teachers, but all state workers.

To pay for it, lawmakers will seek to cut state spending by $20 million, taking funds from general services and Medicaid, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Craig Blair said.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislature Photography

The West Virginia teacher strike entered its ninth day Tuesday. A bill that provides salary increases for teachers, school employees and other state workers was again the focus of lawmakers and teachers at the Capitol on Monday.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Still no deal at West Virginia's state Capitol over public schoolteachers' pay and benefits, and what that means is no end in sight to a teachers strike that began on February 22.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Teachers and supporters fill the Capitol Building March 5, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Molly Born / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the eighth day of a statewide teacher strike, a special committee of lawmakers is set to begin sorting out what kind of pay raise teachers in West Virginia will ultimately receive.

Copyright 2018 West Virginia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The union representing West Virginia teachers says their strike — begun Feb. 22 — will extend at least through Monday, if not longer, after the state Senate failed to pass the raise teachers are holding out for.

Senators voted for a 4 percent raise for teachers, service personnel and state troopers.

Teachers rally outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
John Raby / AP Photo

Update: 10:15 p.m. 03/03/18

The question of whether striking West Virginia teachers would return to the classroom Monday was temporarily dwarfed by another Saturday night: What just happened here?

The state Senate passed a bill that they thought would give teachers a 4 percent raise, less than the 5 percent they asked for. But, according to a House of Delegates clerk, the version Senate lawmakers passed had some of the same key language as the original.

Superintendents, Justice Urge Senate to Pass Pay Raise Bill
Molly Born

Whether teachers will return to class next week across West Virginia remained an open question Friday evening as school district leaders urged state Senate lawmakers to pass a teacher pay-raise bill and put an end to an ongoing strike.

Teacher Strike Reaches 7 Days Without Classes

Mar 2, 2018
Jacob Staggers, a sixth-grade English teacher at South Middle School in Morgantown, W.Va., holds up a sign outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
John Raby / Associated Press

Many West Virginia public school students were at loose ends again Friday, with their classrooms closed for a seventh straight class day as teachers fought for pay raises.

Scott Finn / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The walkout of school employees is entering its second week, and there's no sign of it stopping yet.

Will teachers and their supporters "remember in November," and if so, will this help unions and their political supporters?

Or will there be a backlash that cancels out labor's efforts in West Virginia?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the West Virginia House of Delegates moved swiftly Wednesday night to pass a new 5 percent pay raise package for teachers, service personnel and state police – acting on a revised revenue forecast from Gov. Jim Justice.

That bill made its way to the Senate yesterday Thursday but was not taken up in committee. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom chatted with Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso about the situation at the statehouse.

Teachers rally outside the state Senate chambers at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
John Raby / AP Photo

Schools across all of West Virginia’s 55 counties will be closed yet again Friday, as teachers school service personnel, state employees and their supporters continue to rally for better pay and benefits. The seventh day off from school comes as a bill calling for pay increases for school employees and state police has been stalled in the state Senate.

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

West Virginia teachers spent a sixth day on strike on March 1 after negotiations were insufficient to end the walkout. But is their strike legal?

Shortly before the strike began, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (and U.S. Senate candidate) said it wasn’t.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice revised his revenue estimates for next year, which allows for a 5 percent pay raise for teachers and state service personnel. But schools remain closed Thursday, with thousands of state employees still concerned about ballooning insurance rates. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom spoke with Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair about these issues. We have an excerpt from that interview.

John Raby / AP Photo

 

 

What was supposed to be a “cooling off” day Wednesday was anything but under the gold dome in Charleston. After Gov. Jim Justice and union leaders announced a deal had been made Tuesday to end the teacher strike and send educators and service personnel back to the classroom Thursday, uncertainty around the Capitol all West Virginia counties called off school Thursday, March 1.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice held a press conference Tuesday evening announcing a 5 percent pay increase for teachers and state service personnel as well as an end to the work stoppage – however, the stoppage looked far from over Wednesday. We bring you the latest from the Capitol. Also, in this episode, host Andrea Lannom is joined by Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, to talk about the budgetary issues facing lawmakers.

Mixed Response To Plan To End West Virginia Teacher Strike

Feb 28, 2018
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

This story is developing and will be updated.

Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed 5 percent pay raise to end the walkout by West Virginia teachers quickly received a mixed reception in the Legislature where approval is needed.

Justice’s Tuesday evening announcement followed his meeting with union leaders for teachers in all 55 counties. They planned to return to work Thursday after striking a week earlier over low pay and rising health insurance costs.

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