USW: W.Va. Teachers, Support Staff Deserve Better Pay, Benefits

CONTACT: Heather Anderson, (304) 489-3961,

MINERAL WELLS, W.Va. — The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today from USW District 8 Director Ernest R. “Billy” Thompson in support of a work stoppage by West Virginia public school teachers and service workers demanding better pay and benefits.

“The thousands of members of the United Steelworkers union across West Virginia are proud to stand in solidarity with the 20,000 teachers and 13,000 school service employees who are seeking better pay for their hard work and stronger benefits to care for their families.

“Providing quality pay and benefits to the working people of our communities strengthens our economy and supports families and businesses all around our state. Besides those obvious benefits, investing in quality education for our children is the best possible use of the public’s hard-earned tax dollars.

“Caring for our children should be our primary concern, but that concern must be focused on long-term educational goals, not short-term cost-cutting.

“Our aim must be to provide a strong education and to lay the foundation for a brighter future for every single child in our public schools. The only way to do that is to ensure that our educators and support staff — those who are charged with the instruction and care of our children each day — are compensated fairly and equitably for their hard work.

“West Virginia educators are currently among the lowest-paid in our entire country. How can we expect to provide the best possible education for our children when we show such disregard for our educational workers?

“The USW intends to stand in solidarity with these workers until they achieve the fair pay and quality benefits that all workers across West Virginia deserve.”

USW District 8 includes thousands of USW members across West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia. The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222