West Virginia schools closed for sixth day, strike continues

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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV)- Schools across West Virginia are closed for the sixth day, despite a proposed five percent pay raise by Governor Jim Justice earlier this week.

Following that deal, the strike was believed to be over. However, school employees are back on the picket line Thursday morning across all 55 counties in the state.

School employees say the raise was welcomed news and certainly a step in the right direction. The recent complaints focus on apprehension over PEIA. The striking staff members say overall, the change is simply not enough.

Teachers in Bridgeport say they were hoping to be back in school this morning. They are missing their students and love what they do. However, they refuse to work unless things change.

"We were supposed to be back in the classroom today under the terms that Charleston did the things that they were supposed to do," Bridgeport High School teacher Marsha Coakley said. "We had that window of opportunity to say 'You haven't done what you promised.' We can't come back to work on empty promises."

Teachers and school service personnel say they are hopeful the bill will pass in the Senate Thursday afternoon. If it fails, they will picket once again Friday.