Teachers say they'll continue to fight for higher pay

MARION COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - The conversation on teacher raises and PEIA isn't going anywhere anytime soon and teachers continue to speak out about what they feel they deserve.

Some are becoming more angry about the overall situation and say the latest plan isn't enough.

Teya Henthorn has been teaching for four years. For the vast majority of that time, she has spoken up about issues related to teacher salaries and PEIA benefits.

"They're increasing our insurance and our salaries aren't increasing," Henthorn said. "The cost of living is going up and we can't afford to be teachers anymore."

The most recent discussed plan was a two percent increase for the next fiscal year followed by one percent for the next three. Some teachers in Marion County still aren't satisfied with that.

"I think our goal now is that the hope is $2,000 this year, $2,000 the following year, and $2,000 the year after that across the board," said June Haught, a teacher at Fairview Elementary School.

These teachers want the public to know why they're fighting for more. They talk about spending money out of their own pockets and paying for more education for more certifications.

"We've been taken advantage of for so long that it's gotten to the point where we're being overlooked," Henthorn said. "And the funding is not coming to us. We need it. Our schools are falling apart. We don't have the proper materials to teach with."

Marion County Delegate Guy Ward (R) hears them. He told us he'd like to see raises for state employees, especially teachers. He spoke highly of the role teachers play in society and he wants to remind them that they're just trying to be cautious this year.

"West Virginia's economy is starting to pick up again, so maybe we'll have some more revenue coming in that we can do more with and get more to workers of the state," Ward said. "We need to take care of our employees. They're our most important asset."

Ward went onto say there's hope that next year there could be more but it is based on incoming revenues.