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All of West Virginia’s teachers have been on strike for over a week


Thousands of public school teachers across West Virginia have been on strike for more than a week in protest over their pay and benefits. And despite striking a deal with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on Wednesday that would put the more than 277,000 students affected back in school, teachers still won’t return to work on Monday as the state’s legislature — specifically, the Senate — has rejected the agreement.

The strike began on Thursday, February 22, the day after Governor Justice, a Republican, signed legislation providing teachers, school service personnel, and state police with a 2 percent salary increase starting in July and scheduling a 1 percent pay hike for teachers in 2020 and 2021. Teachers’ unions said the raises wouldn’t cover cost-of-living increases, and the bill didn’t address other concerns related to public employee insurance programs, health care costs, and payroll tax deduction options. Thousands of teachers, parents, and supporters descended on West Virginia’s Capitol in Charleston to protest. Schools will remain closed on Monday as the strike enters its eighth day.