KEYSER - A large group of teachers and service personnel packed into the meeting room Tuesday evening to hear Mineral County Board of Education president Rob Woy assure them the board members support them in the uncertainty of the approaching statewide walkout.


By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - A large group of teachers and service personnel packed into the meeting room Tuesday evening to hear Mineral County Board of Education president Rob Woy assure them the board members support them in the uncertainty of the approaching statewide walkout.
Professional and service personnel throughout the state are planning a work stoppage Thursday and Friday in protest of the small pay raise being considered by the legislature, which many educators have called “insulting.” In addition, the expected rise in PEIA premiums and a measure which will diminish the use of seniority in hiring practices are playing a large part in the strained relations between the state and its public employees.
Last week, four Mineral County Board members signed a resolution in a show of support for the county’s employees and sent a copy out to every employee and to the legislators representing Mineral County.
Woy pointed out that board member Lara Courrier chose not to sign the resolution due to a conflict of interest, as she is employed by the West Virginia Department of Education.
“But I think you know where her heart is,” he told the crowd Tuesday.
Woy also told the employees crowded into the small room that the board members still hope something positive will happen in Charleston and the work stoppage can be avoided.
“We are praying for miracles, because nobody wants to go through this,” he said, recalling the teacher strike of 1990, which lasted 11 days.
“Back then, teachers had no opportunity to make up the days, and they were docked pay,” he said.
“It got a little ugly. And nobody wants that to happen again.”
Today, with the state-mandated 180 days of instruction, any in-classroom days missed would have to be made up at the end of the school year.
“Again, we’re hoping and praying things will get resolved before Thursday … We wish you well and we wish you the best,” Woy said.
“You deserve more than you’re getting as far as I’m concerned.”
“We’re with you in heart,” superintendent Shawn Dilly told them, promising to do everything he can “within the code” to help them.