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W.Va. unions OK possible work action against education bill

February 9, 2019
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American Federation of Teachers West Virginia Treasurer Fred Albert speaks during a press conference following an authorization vote for statewide action at the Days Inn in Flatwoods, W.Va., on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. After tallying votes from all 55 counties, teachers and school employees authorized unspecified work action in the future should they see fit. (Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)
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American Federation of Teachers West Virginia Treasurer Fred Albert speaks during a press conference following an authorization vote for statewide action at the Days Inn in Flatwoods, W.Va., on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. After tallying votes from all 55 counties, teachers and school employees authorized unspecified work action in the future should they see fit. (Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

FLATWOODS, W.Va. (AP) — Union leaders say West Virginia teachers and other public employees have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a statewide work action if needed against complex education legislation making its way through the Legislature.

Leaders of the West Virginia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers’ West Virginia chapter and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association announced the vote Saturday in Flatwoods. It did not specify when or what type of action would be taken.

The Senate passed the bill Monday. The House education committee made significant changes before approving its version Friday and sending it to the House finance committee. Both versions would give teachers 5 percent pay raises. Teachers oppose some other provisions in the bill.

West Virginia teachers won 5 percent pay raises following a nine-day strike last year.

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American Federation of Teachers West Virginia Treasurer Fred Albert speaks during a press conference following an authorization vote for statewide action at the Days Inn in Flatwoods, W.Va., on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. After tallying votes from all 55 counties, teachers and school employees authorized unspecified work action in the future should they see fit. (Craig Hudson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)