Archives for February 2018

Greenbrier County Schools Open Thursday, According To District Website

A post on the Greenbrier County Schools website announces that schools are closed again Wednesday…the fifth day in a row as teachers are refusing to go to school in protest of pay that’s among the lowest in the nation. Such statewide strikes are unusual but not unprecedented. Most teacher labor disputes start and end at the district level, where teacher salaries are more typically set. The strike in West Virginia has closed schools in all 55 counties. The same website notification says all students and staff will return to school on Thursday.

Posted to
Feb. 28, 2018 12:16 PM CST
by pkilleen

House Approves Legislation Allowing Guns At Work, Locked In Cars

Employees in West Virginia could bring their loaded guns to work as long as they are locked in their cars, according to legislation approved by the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

Titled the “Business Liability Protection Act,” it says the owner or manager of a property cannot prohibit any customer, employee or invitee from having a legally owned gun in its parking lot provided the weapon is inside a locked vehicle or compartment.

Businesses would be prohibited from even asking whether anyone has a gun locked in their car or truck. Violations would be subject to civil penalties up to $5,000.

Supporters said it would expand Second Amendment rights in West Virginia. The bill passed 85-14. It now goes to the Senate.

Critics said it would make workplaces more dangerous and West Virginia less attractive to companies that want to control their premises.

Greenbrier County Schools Closed Monday

Schools in Greenbrier County are closed again Monday as West Virginia teachers will continue their strike, the latest response to what’s quickly becoming a deepening rift with the governor and Legislature over pay and health benefits. Thousands of teachers and school service workers in all 55 counties will remain off the job Monday, union leaders announced at a news conference Friday afternoon.
West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee said county school superintendents are being asked to keep schools closed for a third day because the teachers will return to Charleston. A state Department of Education spokeswoman declined comment. State Schools Superintendent Steve Paine has said the work stoppage is illegal and disruptive to student learning.

Legislation to Curb Some Regulations On Water Pollution From Surface Mining

The West Virginia Senate is advancing legislation that would delete a section of state regulations on water pollution by surface coal mining. The bill from the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee, now on the Senate floor, would cut a requirement that the mining company get certification afterward that it has mitigated damage to streams or more than 250 acres of watershed.

Teachers Walk Out

West Virginia teachers have gone on strike over pay and benefits one day after the governor signed raises for them. Classes at public schools were canceled Thursday in all 55 counties as teachers walked out over low pay, small increases and projected increases in insurance costs. Thousands of teachers arrived at the Capitol in Charleston in a show of solidarity and to pressure lawmakers who are still considering other proposals that would help them.

House OK’s Work Requirements For Food Stamp Recipients

The West Virginia House has voted 78-19 to impose the federal 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients statewide. It would apply to people ages 18 to 49 who aren’t disabled or military veterans, have no dependent children and get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

What The State Schools Superintendent Says About The Planned Walkout

With teachers and other public workers planning a statewide walkout Thursday and Friday over pay and benefits, Superintendent of Schools Steven Paine says they deserve more but work stoppages by public employees are unlawful in West Virginia. In a statement Tuesday, Paine says he’s hopeful negotiations can prevent disruption to students and classrooms and families that have to find other places to send their children.

AG’s Office Sponsoring ‘Kids Kick Opioids’ Contest

The West Virginia Attorney General’s office is sponsoring a contest among schoolchildren to promote awareness of prescription painkiller abuse. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says in a news release that the “Kids Kick Opioids” contest is open to elementary and middle school students. Examples of entries can include poems, drawings or letters. The winning entry will be used in Morrisey’s next statewide newspaper public service advertisement. The deadline for entries is March 29.

Greenbrier County Public Schools Closing Thursday And Friday

Public schools in Greenbrier County will be closed Thursday and Friday, as a teacher and service personnel walk out is expected. There was an emergency school board meeting held Monday at which all five school board members voted unanimously to close schools. They also passed a resolution, throwing their full support behind the teachers, whether they choose to walk or not. There was discussion about keeping the schools open but it was determined there wouldn’t be enough staff on hand to make it a safe and productive learning environment.

Teacher Walkout Scheduled This Week

School teachers and public employees in West Virginia are planning a statewide walkout as they continue to protest low pay, projected hikes in health insurance costs and small proposed pay hikes. Media outlets report that the decision to hold the walkout this Thursday and Friday was announced by the American Federal of Teachers-West Virginia and the West Virginia Education Association at a rally at the state Capitol on Saturday.