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.