Teacher unions see momentum build with West Virginia strike


As teachers in West Virginia noisily celebrated a 5 percent raise that ended their nine-day walkout, momentum was building elsewhere for similar protests over pay and benefits for the nation’s public school teachers.

Teachers in Oklahoma and Arizona are contemplating walkouts of their own amid growing frustration over meager pay. Teachers in Pittsburgh reached a tentative agreement after threatening a strike, and hundreds of educators held demonstrations this week in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The unions’ victory in the West Virginia strike has given a boost to organizers who say the national spotlight on teacher pay is long overdue.

Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Educators Association, says teacher unrest has grown as strong health care and retirement benefits have begun to erode.