Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push MORE (D-W.Va.) on Monday blamed Republicans in the state Senate for an ongoing teachers' strike that has kept public schools across West Virginia closed for more than a week.
“Sadly, just like in Washington, it looks like political gamesmanship is winning the day & preventing a bipartisan compromise led by the Governor to help our educators & public employees, fix our PEIA system & get students learning again from becoming law,” Manchin tweeted.
“I urge the Senate Republican leadership to stop playing games and send our kids back to school,” he added.
But for some reason, Senate Republicans are choosing to keep our schools closed & kids at home over one percent. #WV families deserve better. When I visited with educators two weeks ago at the state capitol, they told me they want to be back in their classrooms.— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 5, 2018
I urge the Senate Republican leadership to stop playing games and send our kids back to school.— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 5, 2018
West Virginia teachers extended their strike into its eighth school day in a row on Monday as they continue to fight with state lawmakers for wage increases. The strike began on Feb. 22 in response to low wages amid skyrocketing health insurance costs.
The governor and teachers’ union reached an agreement to end the strike last week that included a 5 percent pay raise. However, the state Senate voted to cut the pay raise, causing the strike to march on.
All public schools in the state’s 55 counties will remain closed until the strike is resolved. The closure is affecting nearly 277,000 students and 35,000 employees, The Associated Press reported.
Nearly one-quarter of all children are living in poverty in West Virginia, so teachers packed hundreds of food bags for students in need even as they were on strike.