February 22, 2018
Work Stoppage-West Virginia School Service Personnel Association’s Concerns
(Charleston WV)-On the eve of this impending state-wide work stoppage, WVSSPA members are concerned about the following things:
- Stabilize PEIA:
- Placement on the PEIA task force.
- A funding source to eliminate rising costs in the future.
- Facts not promises.
- Fair and equal pay, all education employees across the state should receive the same pay raise.
- Stop attacks on seniority and other work place rights
- Stop attacks on the Associations and Unions that protect school employees. No paycheck deception bill.
Many legislators and state school board members have said we have addressed all your concerns, so what’s the problem? The pay raise (2% the first year and 1% the following year) awaiting the governor’s approval will only provide $440 next year and $220 the following year. This is not compounding but a flat amount based on the average salary of school service personnel. While our teachers were first told they would receive 5% over 5 years, now they will receive 2% the first year and 1% each year for the following two years, a total of only 4%.
Let’s compare our raise to the increases the PEIA finance board has projected for the next few years. Yes, PEIA has been frozen for 17 months. However, in 2020 premiums will increase 7.2%, in 2021 premiums will increase 14% and in 2022 premiums will increase 14.6%. That is a 40% increase between now and 2022. The average service personnel pays $218 a month in premiums, by 2022 they will pay $306.83, essentially cutting service personnel pay by more than $1000 a year. This does not factor in rising co-pays, rising costs of prescriptions and other fees associated with healthcare. Let’s not forget our retirees who will see an increase of 140% between now and 2022.
In addition, we are seeing our workplace rights being eroded. Seniority has been attacked, overtime pay for service personnel has been attacked and competency testing for service personnel has been attacked. Now with paycheck deception our right to organize and protect ourselves is being attacked. These things are unacceptable.
February 8, 2018
(Charleston, WV) -WVSSPA attended the Governors Press Conference concerning the issues that Service Personnel are facing. We have informed the Governor that the 17 month freeze on PEIA is a starting point but it is just that, a starting point. We also voiced our concern that together we can work this out but it has to be together. The allocated 29 million dollar base building is a great start, but the funding source must be priority. The Governor agreed that this needs to be worked on, and to give him time.
We also voiced our concern that the pay raise that the House of Delegates finance committee passed yesterday is by far the better deal. We agree with Speaker Armstead that the funding is there for 2% first year and 1% second year for service personnel. While this is neither what we want nor what we have asked for, it is indeed better than what was first proposed. This amendment was passed in the House Finance Committee with a unanimous vote. We will always advocate for more. It has always been our position that a pay raise should be across the board when service personnel make so little. We agree that teachers deserve to be fairly compensated for the great work that they do and should not rank at the bottom of the national pay scale, however our main objective is to the service personnel who “serve the children” of our great state.
President Thompson voiced to the Governor that “I would like for you to mention service personnel, we have been left out for over 25 years.” Governor Justice apologized for not mentioning service personnel and said you are right.
WVSSPA believes that this is a start. It is not complete by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a beginning. It is a starting place and we look forward to more open conversations with the Governor and the Legislators.
August 16, 2017
WVSSPA Hires New Field Staff Representatives
Charleston, WV - The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) Executive Committee and staff are pleased to announce the hiring of new WVSSPA Field Staff Representative, Nikki Berryhill.
Nikki resides in Berkeley County and has nearly ten years of experience working as a classroom Autism Aide. Nikki was a member of the WVSSPA during her entire career as service personnel and will serve the following counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, Pendleton, Preston, Taylor and Tucker.
Also joining the Field Staff team is Sherri Talkington, WVSSPA Executive Committee member and President of Harrison County School Service Personnel Association.
Sherri will be working on release time for the 2017-18 school year. Sherri resides in Harrison County. Sherri will serve the following counties: Brooke, Doddridge, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Tyler, Upshur, and Wetzel.
“We are excited to have coverage in the Northern and Eastern Panhandle regions to better serve our membership,” Executive Director Joe White stated.
Please join us in welcoming Nikki Berryhill and Sherri Talkington to the WVSSPA team.
May 1, 2017
WVSSPA Hires New Staff Attorney
Charleston, WV - The WVSSPA Executive Committee and staff are pleased to announce the hiring of new WVSSPA Staff Attorney Joe Spradling. Joe has been practicing law for the past twenty-five years. He has extensive experience working as a trial lawyer, private attorney and public defender. He has covered state-level cases on employment, worker’s compensation, unemployment and juvenile cases involving school attendance and behavior. Joe has also covered federal cases on civil rights and employment law. Joe was born and raised in Charleston, WV. He graduated from Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I am extremely happy to be working for the WVSSPA, to be even more effective in securing the rights of school service personnel,” Joe Spradling.
“Although we regretfully announce the departure of our former attorneys, we understand that they are headed in a different direction. The direction of the WVSSPA continues on the path of service and representation for school service personnel only, and we are thrilled to welcome Joe to our team,” Linda Thompson, WVSSPA President explained. “The transition to add to the WVSSPA legal team started over a year ago and we are excited to finally put the plan into place with the addition of Joe.”
“We want our members to know that legal representation and counsel will continue without interruption,” Joe White, WVSSPA Executive Director explained. Attorney Joe Spradling and Legal Assistant Katelyn Dunlap will begin working with WVSSPA members effective immediately.
Please join us in welcoming Joe Spradling to the WVSSPA team.
April 27, 2017
What: West Virginia School Service Personnel Association Annual Spring Conference Where: Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, WV
When: Friday, April 28th , 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm & Saturday, April 29th, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Details: The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) will hold its 52nd annual Spring Conference at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, WV on Friday, April 28th-Saturday, April 29th.
Nearly 200 school service personnel from 39 counties across the state will attend the conference. Members attending the WVSSPA Spring Conference will receive important updates on legislative changes related to service personnel and elect Executive Committee officer positions. Keynote speakers for Saturday’s meeting include WV House of Delegate member Robert Thompson, District 19, and Dave Perry, West Virginia Board of Education member.
“I always look forward to the annual conference. It is a wonderful gathering of hard-working service personnel from around the state. We come together as a group to learn, to laugh and to grow. We are the largest Association of service personnel in WV and we are dedicated to protecting the rights and benefits of our members,” Linda Thompson, WVSSPA President.
Charleston, W.Va. – Today the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) announced their endorsement of West Virginia Democratic candidate Jim Justice for Governor.
“We want our membership to show full support of Jim Justice. We believe Justice will stand up for West Virginia workers,” Executive Director Joe White explained. “The WVSSPA is the voice of thousands of hard-working school service personnel. We need a governor who will listen to our voices, the voices of the working people in West Virginia,” White said.Read more
Charleston, W.V. – The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) announced at its 51st annual Spring Conference an annual dues reduction of $31 for regular members.
“This is the first time in 51 years that dues have been cut. We have listened to our members and we are finally in position to be able to make this request a reality. We are making history,” said Executive Director Joe White.Read more
Wheeling, W.V. – The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) will hold its 51st annual Spring Conference at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, WV on Friday, May 13th-Saturday, May 14th.
Nearly 200 school service personnel from 35 counties across the state will attend the conference. Members attending the WVSSPA Spring Conference will learn about the Association and its direction, receive important updates on legislative changes related to service personnel and elect Executive Committee representatives for the Aide and Custodial positions.
West Virginia School Service Personnel Association Endorses Jeff Kessler for Governor of West Virginia
Charleston, W.Va. – Today the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) announced their endorsement of West Virginia Democratic candidate Jeff Kessler for Governor.
“The WVSSPA Political Action Committee based their decision on Kessler’s legislative experience, dedication to the working people and his commitment to education in the state of West Virginia,” said WVSSPA Executive Director Joe White. “Kessler made it clear to the committees that the working people of West Virginia will have a voice in the governor’s office.”
On Saturday, Kessler met with the WVSSPA Political Action Committee. All gubernatorial candidates who completed and returned the required questionnaire were invited for an interview. The committee voted unanimously to endorse and support Kessler for the gubernatorial race.
“I'm honored to have the support of this dedicated organization. The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association is on the front lines fighting for and protecting our children and its members daily. I’ve fought for all West Virginian’s throughout my legislative career. As your Governor, I will continue to work for the people of West Virginia and invest in them and our future,” said Kessler.Read more
Charleston, W.V. – The West Virginia School Service Personnel Association (WVSSPA) will celebrate 50 years and a proclamation by the Office of the Governor declaring Friday, September 25, 2015, as West Virginia School Service Personnel Day.
“School service personnel are dedicated, professional, well-trained, caring and compassionate individuals who have chosen a path to serve West Virginia students. The jobs that they do bring joy and satisfaction in knowing they have an impact on the lives of our most precious commodity - our children,” WVSSPA Executive Director Joe White.Read more