The Dominion Post  

Justice celebrates passage of pay-raise bill

Created on:   Tue, Mar 6, 2018   4:43 PM

Last modified:   Tue, Mar 6, 2018   4:43 PM

The Dominion Post

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice capped the day of celebration of the passage of HB 4145, the teacher pay raise bill, on March 6 with a ceremonial bill signing in the Culture Center theater. Teachers and service personnel filled most of the theater seats. Legislators and union representatives stood behind him on the stage.

He talked about his enlightenment during his day of town hall meetings the previous week. And how a sixth-grader named Gideon Titus-Glover made him see the pay raise issue in a new way.

“We may really have to move away from the idea that education is some necessary evil that’s just got to be funded,” Justice said. “What we really should be doing is looking at our children, at our teachers, at the education process as an investment that we’re going to try to make great. … That’s what we’ve done in West Virginia, and the world has seen it.”

Justice signed a stack of copies of the bill, handing out pens to union reps and legislators, and setting one aside for Gideon.

After the ceremony, the two teacher union leaders and the service personnel leader wouldn’t say outright that the work stoppage is over. They did say schools would be opening, and they planned to hold conference calls with their locals — because the stoppage was member-driven — and they would take direction from the members on if it would end and teachers would be back in school March 7.