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W.Va. bills addressing teacher strikes moved to inactive calendar

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVVA) Three years after the strike that shutdown West Virginia schools for nine days, legislation to make educators and school staff think twice about a future strike has been put on hold.

While one of the bills already passed in the Senate last week, another piece of legislation that was scheduled for consideration in the House of Delegates on Monday has been moved to the inactive calendar.

In an interview with WVVA News, Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, (D) 10th Dist., explained why he voted no on the Senate measure.

"It's already illegal. Why spend our time and resources running a bill on what the state law already says."

The House bill that was moved from consideration on Monday addressed teacher pay during a walk-out.

"The only difference from what happened in 2018, 2019, is you won't be paid during the school year. You'll be paid when you make those days up," said Dale Lee, the West Virginia Edu. Assoc. Pres.

While the measure is similar to a law already on the books, Lee said it was the message sent by lawmakers that raised concern among educators and school staff.

"It just shows a lack of respect for educators that we have. We've known since 1990 that any work action is illegal. But when you're pushed to the point where you have to take a stand, you're willing to take the consequences."

According to Lee, both the House and Senate measure have been moved to the legislature's inactive calendar. It remains to be seen when or if the measures will be brought up for a vote.

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Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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