West Virginia governor announces pay increase deal to end teacher strike

West Virginia governor announces pay increase deal to end teacher strike
© Brad McElhinny/WV Metro News

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced late Tuesday a proposed 5 percent raise for all of the state’s educators as part of a deal to end a four-day work stoppage among teachers.

WHSV reported Justice will propose a 3-percent raise for all state employees over the next year, while the 5-percent raise applies to teachers and other service personnel in public schools. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Justice said that Wednesday would serve as a "cooling off" day and educators would return to work on Thursday.
 
Union representatives met with Justice on Tuesday afternoon to try and negotiate a deal while teachers rallied and chanted in the state capitol.

The proposal must now be approved by the state legislature.

All of the state’s public schools remained closed the last four school days as teachers refused to show up to classrooms in protest of state-set teacher salaries.

West Virginia teacher salaries were ranked 48th in the nation in 2016.

The state's attorney general reportedly said at the start of protests last week that the walkouts were unlawful.

Justice was elected governor in 2016. He ran as a Democrat, but switched his party affiliation to Republican shortly after taking office.