UPDATE: Unions respond to bill, calling for schools to be closed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV)--
UPDATE:

The West Virginia Senate is working to recall their pay raise bill they just amended and passed. This is due to the Senate accidentally sending the exact same bill with the exact same language and pay scales to the House of Delegates. Currently, the bill in the hands of the House of Delegates remains the 5% pay raise bill.

ORIGINAL:

A joint statement from the WVEA, AFT West Virginia and the WVSSPA says they are “angry and disappointed” following the pay raise bill being amended and lowered. They’re calling for the strike to continue into Monday and for schools to stay closed.

According to the joint statement, the “agreement was for a 5% salary increase for education employees”. It continues that they would “love to see state employees receive the same percentage increase”, but claim the legislature is “taking away from one and passing it to another”.

Read the full statement below:

“We are angry and disappointed with the actions of Senator Carmichael and his Republican leadership team. Our agreement was for a 5% salary increase for education employees – period!

We too would love to see state employees receive the same percentage increase as our school employees, and we are fully supportive of them also receiving a 5% increase.

However, you do not pay for different groups by simply taking away from one and passing it to another. The purpose of this is clear – to divide us and to pit us against each other.

In good faith, we reached an agreement and have honored that agreement. We appreciated the hard work of the Governor, Speaker Armstead and the members of the House of Delegates. We also thank all the Senate Democrats and Republican Senator Kenny Mann for their commitment to honor our teachers and service professionals. We thank them for honoring the agreement and trying to get our public schools reopened.

Unfortunately, Senator Carmichael and the Senate leadership chose not to honor the agreement. They have had the bill for three days, and they are the ones responsible for our students not being in school.

‘Thank you’ to the parents, students, superintendents, community leaders and supportive legislators.

Senator Carmichael and the Senate leadership team leave us no choice – all public schools in West Virginia will be closed again on Monday and remain closed until the Senate honors the agreement that was made.

We call for all education employees and supporters to be at the capitol on Monday to deliver a clear message to Senator Carmichael and his leadership team.”