West Virginia teachers’ strike ends with 5 percent raise

(Reuters) – A strike by West Virginia teachers ended on Tuesday with a deal to raise pay for all state workers by 5 percent after more than a week of protests across the Appalachian state, the governor and educators’ union said.

More than 277,000 students were out of the classroom for nine instructional days as teachers pressed for higher salaries in West Virginia, where their pay is near the bottom of the scale for U.S. teachers.

“I stood rock solid on the 5 percent Teacher pay raise and delivered,” Republican Governor Jim Justice said on Twitter. He said additional spending cuts made by himself and his staff would give all state employees a 5 percent raise.

The West Virginia Education Association said on its Facebook page: “WE WON!” Thousands of teachers had flooded the state capitol in days of protests in seeking a pay increase.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus and Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)