(02/25/2019)
The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a clean, stand alone pay raise bill for WV teachers, service personnel and the State Police on Friday

The bill now goes to the Senate, with leadership suggesting some changes could be made to the bill.

The Senate has decided not to immediately consider the bill, with two weeks left in the session.

Under the bill, teachers would receive a $2,120 raise, school service personnel would receive a $1,150 raise and the state troopers would receive a $2,370 raise. This amounts to an average of a 5 percent raise per employee, with Gov. Justice promising the raise last October.

The teacher and school service personnel raises would cost $67.7 million per year. The State Police raises would cost $1.8 million per year.

Delegate Tom Bibby, R-Berkeley, voted against the bill. He said he supported a raise for state troopers but opposed it for the school workers who "walked off the job" when they went on strike for two days protesting the omnibus bill.

Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said he's loathing to back the bill.

"I said at the beginning of the year that, if the teachers went on strike while we were going through this process, I would not vote for a pay raise," he said. "There are others who feel the same way."

Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said the Senate will put the bill up for a vote, but hes looking into whether some provisions of the omnibus bill could still be amended into the pay raise bill.

A number of the provisions of the Omnibus Bill were solely directed toward unraveling the state teachers and service personnel unions.

Opponents argued that teachers should not receive a raise, given the low-ranking achievement metrics of West Virginia schools, the state being among the worst performing in the nation, saying there needs to be a major overhaul.

Calhoun Schools union reps have declined public information requests related to pay raise and strike issues.


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