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West Virginia Teachers On Strike Today

HUNTINGTON, W. Va.—Teachers in four West Virginia counties went on strike Feb. 16 to demand better pay and protest the state’s plans to increase their health-insurance costs. The one-day walkout closed schools in Cabell County—which includes Huntington, the state’s second-largest city—and the neighboring Wayne, Mason, and Lincoln counties. “They want to make sure that their collective voices are being heard by those in Charleston, so they plan to be at the Capitol on Friday to make their voices heard,” Brandon Tinney of the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. Teachers staged one-day strikes in three other counties earlier this month, and both the AFT-WV and the West Virginia Education Association authorized a statewide strike Feb. 11. Both unions want a 5% annual raise; according to the National Education Association, West Virginia’s average teachers’ salaries ranked 48th in the nation in 2017, ahead of Oklahoma, Mississippi, and South Dakota. The state government is offering a five-year contract with increases of only 1% a year. Read more

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