2019 Legislative Agenda

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The 2019 AFT-WV Legislative Agenda was developed by members during the 2018 Legislative Summit, then discussed and revised by delegates during the 2018 AFT-WV Convention. 

The agenda reflects the top priorities of the members and the union's goals for the upcoming legislative session. 

AFT-West Virginia

 2019 Legislative Agenda

 

 Attracting and Retaining High-Quality Educators and Support Staff for All Students

  • Provide funding to ensure a highly-qualified, licensed, and certified educator in every classroom, in every school, and for every student.
  • Revise legislation to ensure school districts must hire the most-qualified applicants.
  • Ensure increased planning time and collaboration time for all educators and support staff.
  • Ensure class-size equity for all grade levels and content areas, with secondary class sizes and class sizes in grades 3-6 not to exceed 25 students, and K-2 class sizes not to exceed 20 students.
  • Provide financial compensation for teachers and for aides when an overage in class size occurs.
  • Appropriate funding for a 3-year salary package, $15,000 raise across-the-board, for teachers, service personnel, and public employees with automatic cost of living increases. This salary proposal would be in accordance with SB 391, a bill passed in 2014 that called for a beginning WV teacher salary of $43,000 by fiscal year 2019.
  • Provide a state tax exemption of up to $1,000 on out-of-pocket classroom expenses accrued by educators.
  • Fully-fund PEIA by securing funding sources, and allow sensible and non-discriminatory utilization of this state-provided health-care that reflects input from stake-holders.

 

  1.  Providing a Safe, Equitable, and High-Quality Work Environment
  • Address and revise legislation to ensure employees are appropriately protected from overwork, danger, and abuse by instituting and ensuring safeguards in such areas, but not limited to, work environments, extra duty pay, and employee ratios.
  • Provide all resources necessary to ensure mental health services for students, as well as appropriate, sometimes alternate, placements for students exhibiting emotional/mental health/behavioral disorders that impede the learning process, including constant and consistent one-on-one supervision of students who impede the learning process.
  • Reducing the caseload and providing additional funding to provide supportive services for students with special needs
  • Address and revise legislation to allow employees to expeditiously allege and resolve potential violations of the Safe Schools Act by allowing these actions to immediately proceed to a Level 3 Hearing for consideration and resolution.
  • Provide legislation and resources that facilitate Safe Schools trainings for all employees.
  • Provide legislation and resources that facilitate resolutions to problems encountered with ‘sick schools.’

 

  1. Addressing Transparency and Reduction of Top-Heavy Administration
  • Close the salary gap between the administration and the workforce across all divisions of public education and state agencies by creating a percentage/proportional pay scale for administrators and employees, including the requirement that administrators will be paid no more than 1.5 times the daily rate.
  • Provide legislation that defines a reasonable cap, as defined by all stakeholders, for the creation of and continuance of administrative positions in relation to teacher positions at the county level.
  • Reduce the bureaucracy in public education and state agencies by ensuring input from all stakeholders in the decision-making process.
  • Revise legislation to grant employees with preferred recall more protections in relation to their place between regular employment and substitute employment.

 

  1. Improving Salary and Benefits for All Retirees
  • Provide automatic cost-of-living increases for all retirees.
  • Provide a state tax exemption for retired educators and retired public employees.
  • Provide retired teachers and retired service personnel their daily rate per employment as a substitute, with restrictions on daily rate being removed.

 

  1. Providing for the Quality of Education and Financial Stability of Higher Education Institutions
  • Ensure an exemption for higher education from any proposed budget reduction.
  • Ensure a tenure system that provides security and respect to the profession.
  • Provide an annual cost-of-living increase for staff and faculty with merit increases given only after the annual cost-of-living increase is given.