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 percent raise they negotiated with the governor.
On Saturday the Republican-controlled Senate voted for a 4 percent pay raise. The Republican-controlled House of Delegates earlier approved a 5 percent 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 canceled on Monday.
BURLINGTON, Vt., March 3 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement in support of the teachers on strike in West Virginia:
“Over a hundred years ago the coal miners of West Virginia helped lead the struggle in our country for fair wages and dignity on the job. Today, the teachers of West Virginia are carrying on that brave tradition. There is no more important work than educating our young people. The teachers of West Virginia, and teachers throughout our country, deserve decent salaries and affordable health care. I stand with the teachers of West Virginia in their fight for justice and dignity.”