West Virginia Senate approves small pay raise for teachers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s Senate has approved a bill to give teachers annual pay raises of 1 percent over a five-year period.

The bill passed on a 33-0 vote Friday after a lengthy discussion. One senator was absent.

The bill, which amounts to raises of about $400 per year for teachers starting July 1, now heads to the House of Delegates.

Berkeley County Republican John Unger on Friday called the bill “an insult” to teachers.

A day earlier, Senate Republicans cited fiscal concerns in rejecting attempts by Democrats to make the pay increase larger in the first year.

Teachers from Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties held a one-day walkout to attend a Capitol rally and witness the vote.

According to the National Education Association, West Virginia teachers earn an average salary of $45,622, which ranks 48th among the states.

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