The Latest: Committee to mull West Virginia teacher pay hike

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2018, photo, Jennyerin Steele Staats, a special education teacher from Jackson County holds her sign aloft outside of the capitol building after WVEA President Dale Lee outlined the terms for ending the walkout on the fourth day of statewide walkouts in Charleston, W.Va. Unions representing West Virginia teachers and service personnel said Saturday, March 3, that they will stay out on strike after the state Senate voted to cut the 5 percent pay raise they had negotiated with Gov. Jim Justice. (Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Latest on a bill to give West Virginia teachers a pay raise to end a strike (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

A joint legislative committee in West Virginia is set to address differences in pay raise bills for the state's striking teachers and school service personnel.

The teachers, who walked out of classrooms statewide starting Feb. 22, say they won't return to the classroom until lawmakers approve a 5 per cent raise they negotiated with the governor.

On Saturday the Republican-controlled Senate voted for a 4 per cent pay raise. The Republican-controlled House of Delegates earlier approved a 5 per cent raise proposal that unions had negotiated with Gov. Jim Justice. House members later Saturday wouldn't agree to the Senate's move.

Two Republicans and one Democrat from each chamber will serve on the conference committee. House of Delegates spokesman Jared Hunt said Sunday no meeting had been scheduled. It wasn't yet clear when the committee would meet.

According to the state Department of Education, schools statewide have been cancelled on Monday.

Justice said in a statement Saturday night his sole focus is "getting our children back to school. This wrangling needs to stop right now."


10:50 p.m.

West Virginia teachers say they aren't going to return to the classroom until lawmakers approve the 5 per cent raise they negotiated with the governor.

The three unions representing the educators announced their decision Saturday after the Senate voted to lower the raise to 4 per cent.

With their vote Saturday evening, the Republican-controlled chamber bucked teachers, Republican Gov. Jim Justice and the Republican-controlled House, which approved the 5 per cent raise on Wednesday. The two bills will now have to be reconciled. It was unclear how soon that process would begin.

Republican Sen. Greg Boso of Nicholas introduced the change, which he said would cost $17 million less than the 5 per cent raise.

The Senate's vote came as the teachers' strike rolled into its second weekend.

Western tent caterpillar
Why there were so many caterpillars in the North Okanagan this spring
NORTH OKANAGAN - Noticed a lot of caterpillars this year? You’re not alone. In some parts of the North Okanagan, thousands of caterpillars were seen blanketing roads and dropping from trees in late May and early June. Dr. Amanda

Top News