WV public school workers are being backed into a corner and must increase their demands. The WV Senate is trying to divide them from all state workers, and from workers everywhere. Anyone who knows history knows this. If the Senate counters with a 5 percent raise for school workers and lowers some state workers raise to 3 percent, then school workers should hold out for everyone receiving the same 5 percent raise, for obvious and far-reaching reasons. This is at a minimum. School workers are not demanding enough before returning to work. The WV Governor, the WV House, and the WV Senate are trying to buy them off for peanuts, while coal and gas companies, mostly out-of-state, continue to get hundreds of millions of dollars in tax cuts.
A demand for reinstating the temporary severance tax to generate $125 million per year indefinitely, for a 5 percent raise for all EVERY YEAR (plus a funding start to a PEIA fix) is possibly the biggest missed opportunity in failing to put forth a few potent and crucial demands. The whole movement needs to grow with more pointed demands, bigger demands, both urgent and far-reaching. There is zero union leadership on this (to say the least). It will have to come from organic teacher leaders, other school worker leaders, and possibly from other strong leaders like Ojeda.