West Virginia legislators eye measures to end teacher strike

CHARLESTON, W.Va. est Virginia legislators plan to meet Tuesday to weigh some possible compromise aimed at ending the stnke by West Virginia teachers now entering its ninth day (Photo John Raby AP) A show of support by thousands of teachers and supporters on Monday didn’t immediately sway the lawmakers, who failed to agree on a 5% pay raise that would end the strike, forcing districts to continue to cancel Tuesday classes The governor union leaders and the House of Delegates agreed to the pay raise for the teachers, among ine lowest pald in the nation, but the Senate offered only a 4% increase However, a conference committee of six House and Senate members met for the second time Monday evening where Senate Majority Leader Ryan Fems said his chamber’s leadership was offering compromise position He noted it was only preliminary Details were not disclosed publicly The committee planned to meet again Tuesday morning Our position’s not as much about the amount ofthe pay raise but just how it’s paid for Ferns said Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair R-Berkeley and Ferns ROhio said earlier that they remained skeptical that revised, higher revenue figures from Gov Jim Justice to support the higher pay raises were legitimate Blair suggested that schools reopen while the Legislature tnes to work on the bills prompting groans from the audience Ghent Elementary second-grade teacherApril Smith attended the meeting and was disheartened don’t see them coming to an agreement especially to satisty everyone, she said The committee’s initial inaction prompted schools statewide to close again Tuesday, the ninth day of canceled classe The Capitol was closed Monday aner 5,000 people entered posing security concerns was reopened an hour later, and teachers vented their frustration over the lack of progress.

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