W. Virginia teachers end strike as governor signs bill giving them 5 percent pay hike

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) — West Virginia teachers and students could head back to class as early as Wednesday after the governor signed a bill which gives the educators a 5 percent pay hike and ends their nine-day strike.Gov. Jim Justice signed the bill at an afternoon news conference Tuesday, announcing the agreement also grants a 5 percent pay raise to all state employees.“I have always believed in education and believe it should be our centerpiece,” Justice said prior to signing the bill as he sat on a stage with lawmakers and teachers’ union officials standing behind him. “Today we are making an investment, we are making an investment in education.”He said he will also write a letter to the state superintendent asking for “flexibility” in the 180-day school requirement so that students and teachers won’t have to make up the nine days they were out of the classroom.“Our children have suffered enough. We need to return some sense of normalcy to the education process,” Justice said.The state Senate and House both voted unanimously to approve the bill.The 35,000 education employees walked off the job on Feb. 22, demanding higher pay and better benefits after the governor signed a 2 percent pay raise for next year. Justice reconsidered after an initial round of protests, and the House of Delegates later approved a 5 percent increase.But the Senate’s insistence on a 4 percent raise Saturday prompted the union to extend the strike.West Virginia teachers were among the lowest paid in the country, earning an average annual income of $45,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They had gone without a pay raise for four years.Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and AFT-West Virginia President Christine Campbell both praised the deal as a “victory.”“I’m proud to be in West Virginia today to stand with the educators and school personnel who stood strong and stood together to fight for what they need to do their jobs and stay in the profession, and for what their kids need to thrive,” Weingarten said in a statement.Campbell added: “The strike and its strong outcome should be seen as a shot across the bow to every lawmaker who may underestimate the support teachers have, the hard job they do and their willingness to stand up for what they deserve as they educate the next generation.”Earlier in the day, Justice announced on Twitter that a deal had been reached.“I stood solid on the 5% Teacher pay raise and delivered,” Justice wrote in his tweet. “Not only this, but my staff and I made additional cuts which will give all State employees 5% as well. All the focus should have always been on fairness and getting the kids back in school.”Justice said the pay raise will be paid for by reducing spending in other areas of state government.During the committee meeting earlier Tuesday, state Sen. Craig Blair said the deal included at $20 million spending reduction. He said cuts will likely be made to general services and Medicaid.But Justice noted the state’s Medicaid system ended the last fiscal year with a $173 million cash surplus.“There’s no need to worry one instant about a Medicaid cut,” Justice said. “We’re good there, we’re good.”Teachers said they were eager to get back to the classroom.“Hopefully this shows them we stand up for what we believe in,” middle school teacher Penny Light told ABC News. “When you truly believe in something, you can stand up for it — and the lawmakers work for us, not themselves.”Teacher Terry Moss added: “We’re very excited, ready to go back to school.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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DENR urges public to stop throwing trash in waterways

first_imgA scavenger uses a make-shift raft to collect reusable plastic from a river of trash and other debris in Binondo, Manila on Wednesday, April 22, a day after a thunderstorm brought heavy rains in Metro Manila. GMA NEWS THE Department of Environment andNatural Resources (DENR) urged the public to stop throwing trash into waterwaysto address the growing problem of marine pollution. Together with Rotary InternationalDistrict 3780 and around 500 volunteers, undersecretaries Jonas Leones andAnaliza Rebuelta-Teh installed a trash trap made from plastic bottles andfishnet along Tullahan River in Novaliches. Cuna led the cleanup in Baseco, Tondo,Manila where some 6,000 volunteers were recorded. The DENR noted that following thenatural flow of water, pollution from the upstream—including the esteros—will only quickly replace thesolid waste removed from the coastal areas. Through the annual ICC, Ocean Conservatoryhopes to find solutions to threats in oceans and waterways around the world. (DENR) The environment chief neverthelessthanked all the volunteers and encouraged them to do daily cleanup activitiesand practice recycling and waste segregation to combat marine pollution. Aside from the Manila Bay coastline,cleanup activities were also held in esterosand waterways that drain into the pollution-challenged bay. The kind and number of garbage collectedfrom each site is recorded and weighed for submission to Ocean Conservatory, aWashington-based environmental group that spearheaded the first coastal cleanupin 1986. The group will validate the report and consolidate it with those fromother participating countries. “Maaaripo tayong gumawa ng cleanup taun-taonpero kung tuloy-tuloy ang pag-load natinng pollution sa ating mga katubigan,sayang ang hirap natin,” Cimatupointed out. “Angnais po namin ipabatid sa inyo, itongcleanup na ginagawa natin taun-taon aymaganda po ito, pero ang kailangannatin isaisip at isaulo ay dapat matigil ang paglalagay ng basura sa ating mgakatubigan,” Cimatu said in his message conveyed by DENR undersecretary andManila Bay Task Force ground commander Juan Miguel Cuna. During the ICC event, the DENR was joinedby volunteers from local government units, private organizations, industries,the academe and other stakeholders in cleaning up Manila Bay and itstributaries. Cimatu said that behavioral change amongFilipinos is needed to clean up Manila Bay and all other water bodies in thecountry. DENR undersecretary Benny Antiporda wasin Navotas Centennial Park where close to 3,000 volunteers showed up, while undersecretaryRodolfo Garcia was in Tumana, Marikina City, assistant secretary Marcial Amaro,Jr. in Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, and EnvironmentalManagement Bureau director Metodio Turbella in Estero de Tripa de Galina in ParañaqueCity. According to DENR secretary Roy Cimatu,all cleanup efforts will be in vain if the public continue dumping trash out ofhabit. The appeal was made as the DENR ledanother successful cleanup of Manila Bay and its tributaries on Saturday lastweek during the local observance of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day2019. For ICC Day 2019, top officials of theDENR were assigned to lead cleanup efforts in different water bodies in MetroManila as part of the rehabilitation programs “Battle for Manila Bay” and“Battle for Rivers and Esteros.” Thousands turned up in various cleanupsites around Manila Bay region for this year’s ICC event dubbed as “Battle forTrash-Free Manila Bay.” Last February, President Rodrigo Duterteissued Administrative Order Number 16 designating Cimatu as chair of theinter-agency Manila Bay Task Force, with the secretaries of the Department ofTourism and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as vicechairpersons.last_img read more

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DCC congratulates Dowlin

first_imgTHE Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) has offered congratulations to former Guyana and West Indies batsman Travis Dowlin, who has been appointed as a West Indies selector with effect from January 1, 2017.DCC is the home club of Dowlin, who is also a former Guyana and West Indies-A captain. Below is the full text of the message issued by the club.“It is with a feeling of consummate joy that the President, Executive and Members of theDemerara Cricket Club (DCC) express congratulations to Travis Dowlin on his preferment as a Selector of the West Indies Cricket Board.Travis served as a captain of the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC), Guyana First-Class National captain and West Indies ‘A’ Team captain on tour to Bangladesh just before his retirement.He also represented West Indies Team at Test level, One Day Internationals and in T20 format, and will no doubt use the experience gained in his selectorial role.For our part, it is all the more gratifying when one considers that the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) was the foundation of his cricketing nurture and as fellow members of his ‘alma mater’ we feel a distinct sense of pride, honour and achievement of one of its protégés.Well done, Travis Dowlin. You continue to make Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) and all Guyana proud in this new career path.”last_img read more

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Standard Chartered Bank to sponsor fans to Russia World Cup

first_imgStandard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited has launched the FIFA Visa World Cup Russia 2018 promo. Two lucky clients will get the opportunity to watch a Round 16th match at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Speaking at the official launch of the promo in Accra, Bossman Kwapong, Head of Products & Segments, Retail Banking Ghana, explained the dynamics of the promo and how the winners would be selected.“At Standard Chartered we believe in catering to the needs of our clients. To win this wonderful experience all our clients have to do is use their Standard Chartered debit and credit cards for a minimum of 20 payments in the month of April. Two top clients with the most value in transactions in the prize of going to the FIFA VISA 2018 WORLD CUP in RussiaPrize includes:* Return flights for two.* 5 days / 4 nights’ deluxe accommodation with daily breakfast at a 5-star hotel* FIFA category 1 World Cup™ Final match tickets with pre-match hospitality* All scheduled ground transportation* Group activity/tour* Visa prepaid card with a value of $450 USDRemember, the more times you use your Standard Chartered Visa Debit and Credit Card for all your payments such as dining, fuel, shopping – the more chances you stand to win!The combination of these three big brands shows that a lot of thinking and planning has gone into this promo.”last_img read more

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