WV Governor signs pay raise bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVNS) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed legislation Wednesday, Feb. 21 that will provide teachers, school service personnel and state police with a 2 percent pay increase starting in July.

According to a news release from the Governor’s office, Justice took steps in the budget to include a 2 percent pay raise for all other state employees effective July 1 as well.

Teachers are also scheduled to get an additional 1 percent hike in each of the following two years, FY 2020 and 2021, while school service personnel and state police will get an additional 1 percent in FY 2020.

Gov. Justice said that members of the West Virginia Legislature “did the responsible thing to help our teachers and state employees” by passing the pay raise package on Tuesday.

“We need to keep our kids and teachers in the classroom,” Gov. Justice said. “We certainly recognize our teachers are underpaid and this is a step in the right direction to addressing their pay issue. The PEIA board has also voted to approve changes I recommended – I’ve asked and the PEIA board has voted to eliminate the mandated participation in the Go365 program, the use of combined household income to determine rates, and to freeze the plan for 16 months while we examine it and enact a long-term solution to the PEIA problems.

“Now we need to turn our focus back to continuing public education reforms and making our state educational system the best in the country.”

Educators across West Virginia, in all 55 counties, announced they will walkout of the classroom Thursday and Friday in protest of pay raises, rising PEIA insurance premiums and teacher seniority. The walkout has closed schools across the state until Monday, Feb. 26.

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