Senate backs lower pay hike for teachers; unions say strike will continue

Teachers rally in Elkins on Day 2 of statewide walk-out

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)-- West Virginia's Senate has voted to give striking teachers and other workers a 4 percent raise next year. That is 1 percentage point less than the 5 percent negotiated by Gov. Jim Justice with union leaders to end a strike that has shuttered classrooms statewide for seven days.

Senate majority Republicans backed the amendment 19-15 on Saturday evening. Senators say the pay increase is overdue, but by granting the 4 percent raise they can avoid a tax increase.

Democrats say their Republican counterparts should abide by the deal the governor negotiated with the union for a 5 percent raise.

The House approved the 5 percent raise. The bills will have to be reconciled.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)