Show of Strength Is Not Necessary

Members of teachers’ and service personnel unions who shut down West Virginia public schools for nine days earlier this year said they wanted two things: a pay raise and a “fix” for the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

They got more money in their paychecks. Gov. Jim Justice appointed a committee to look into PEIA concerns. Its members have been working diligently to do just that.

But rumors have been circulating that the unions may ask their members to stay away from work again this fall. The possibility of a one-day absence, on a day when students are not scheduled to be in school, has been raised.

To date, there has been no official confirmation of such plans — but there was little advance warning of what happened last spring, either.

Perhaps union leaders think a show of strength is needed to prod state officials on the PEIA. It does not appear that is correct. The governor’s commission is exploring a variety of ideas, including some put forth by the unions.

Another work stoppage would do no more than, perhaps, eliminate a professional development day that could be of value to teachers and students. Staging one just before the Nov. 6 election would be a blatant political stunt — and West Virginians would have every right to be upset about it.

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