Teacher rep: "The ball is in their court..."

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WDTV) -- UPDATE

We don't want to walk out, but we will. That was one of the messages that created quite the roar at the state employee rally in Clarksburg, Monday night.

Presenting a united front, hundreds of teachers, service personnel and state employees from all across North Central West Virginia packed the Robert C. Byrd High School gymnasium - to make sure everyone is on the same page.

They wanted to look at the issues in Charleston, how they're affecting the employees and what they want to see happen. They have a list of what they want to see done.

"We want PEIA fully funded. We want to get rid of Go365. We want a pay raise that's not an insult and we want to protect seniority," Greg Phillips, Vice President of the Harrison County Education Association, announced to the crowd.

There were lawmakers there to hear those concerns; however, the teachers say many lawmakers in the state aren't listening and whether or not they do, decides the next step.

"The ball is in their court and if they listen to what we have to say and to the things that are important to us, then certainly a strike will be avoided but if they do not hear us, then we will be forced to have to take action," said Lillie Junkins, President of the HCEA.

She also told the crowd union leaders would like to see an official vote this week and said building representatives would report that information back to leaders.

Representatives from Harrison, Barbour, Doddridge, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia and Upshur counties were all present.


ORIGINAL STORY

State employees gathered once again to stand behind their beliefs and rally for some help. This time, they were at Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg.

The public was invited to join the workers Monday evening. The "North Central Regional Rally" is meant to give information about what is going on in Charleston to those affected, and the community in general. It's also aimed at being an inspirational event. Workers tell 5 News it's another chance to stand together.

These rallies aren't just over receiving a pay raise. Many workers say the rising premium for PEIA is a big concern that would leave them taking home less money than years before.

Coming up tonight on Fox 10 at 10 and 5 News at 11, we'll have complete coverage from this rally.