Teachers still getting paid while on strike

Published: Feb. 27, 2018 at 5:53 PM EST
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Unlike most strikes, teachers haven't lost out on a dime by being out of the classroom.

They are still getting paid and that's unlikely to change soon.

It would be a budgetary nightmare for school districts.

Some teachers get paid year-round. Some get paid just during the school year. Either way, they are all paid based on 180 school days.

For now, the missed days are being treated like snow days because they are expected to make the lost time at the end.

There remains about a month of wiggle room because the annual contracts run until the end of June and most school districts are scheduled to end in late May.

The decision on any financial ramifications would be at the state level. It's not a superintendent decision.

Teachers like Dreama Morris and Gary Wroblewski tell us, even if that were to happen, it wouldn't change a thing, especially because of the potential loss of income because of the PEIA increase.

"We'll get paid for the days we work. Right now, we'll be out here," said Morris.

"If we get paid now, we're going to be working for free in June," adds Wroblewski.

Both said they were willing to wait as long as it takes to get an agreement.

Morris is an ECCAT at Kellogg Elementary who has been in the classroom for 17 years. She has already rallied in Charleston three days.

Wroblewski is a social studies teacher at Spring Valley with three school-aged kids at home and one adult child who has moved to North Carolina because of a better paying job in another field. He said until things change wage-wise, the brain drain will be the state’s greatest export.

School officials said holding back pay for teachers would likely involve legal action, whether from the Attorney General or the State Board of Education.

Other school personnel like superintendents are paid on a different calendar, which is why they must still come to work regardless of what the teachers do.

Wroblewski doesn’t like Gov. Justice’s plan of a special session which would pay lawmakers to address the natural gas problem and provide a funding source to PEIA.

"We take work home,” he said. “We grade papers at home. We make tests at home. We give up lunches. Why should the governor and the legislature get paid extra for a special session? You don't get your job done, you stay over and do it, just like they expect us to do."