BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV)- If you drive along the streets Wednesday morning, you will notice a slight change. Not as many teachers are out picketing and protesting. However, they are not in the classroom either.
Some school employees are using the day as a “cooling off period,” following a four-day statewide work stoppage. Classes are expected to resume on Thursday, putting an end to the strike, but it is not a done deal.
This decision came after Governor Jim Justice agreed to a 5% pay increase for educators and a 3% raise for other state employees. However, teachers say more needs to be done and until then it is not quite clear what Thursday will hold.
"The legislature needs to have some movement on this 5% so we can go back to work knowing that they are also going to continue to work on those problems as well," Bridgeport High School teacher Brian Elliott says. "If we do not see any of that good faith measure, I do not know exactly what is going to happen.”
Teachers say they do not have an answer on what Thursday will look like at school. They assure parents and students that they want this to end, but will do what it takes to make a change.
Another Bridgeport teacher says she is praying things work out for state employees and the students so she can get back to doing what she loves.
“I’m ready to go back into the classroom, I want to go back into the classroom," Casey King said. "I also have to keep my guard up to know that may not happen and we have to be ready to come back out here, be strong and stay united across the state for this to be settled.”
Teachers hope to have a better idea of what will happen on Thursday by late Wednesday afternoon.