This week, teachers, service personnel, and other public employees secured a huge victory at the Legislature when Republicans finally agreed to a 5 percent pay increase.
Teachers who've continued to work in West Virginia, despite low pay and eroding benefits, will finally get well-deserved raises. Schools will be able to fill their 700+ vacancies with highly qualified new teachers. But by investing in public education, it's our kids who will benefit most.
This was a victory for union members and leaders, who reinvigorated a labor movement that's been under attack. AFT, WVEA, and WVSSPA members stood shoulder-to-shoulder, by the thousands, in Charleston and at pickets throughout the state. What an inspiration and a teaching moment for the people across West Virginia and across the country!
When I attended the rally at the State Capitol the week before the strike began, I was inspired by the passion of the speakers and the solidarity from other unions. When I visited local pickets, I saw teachers and service personnel who were willing to stand up for what was right and who gathered energy from the thousands of drivers who honked to show their support. There's no doubt that Monongalia County stands behind our public schools!
Raising teacher and service personnel salaries is just the first step toward making public education the priority it should be. Investing in education will bring rewards, not just by opening up opportunities for children, but also by attracting business investment, nurturing entrepreneurs, and developing an educated workforce.
This video talks about my Mom, who was a teacher and a proud union member, and my commitment to public education.