West Virginia educators and state employees have spent the last nine days picketing and striking for better pay and health insurance premiums. Schools have been closed, and tensions have been high. But that strike came to an end yesterday as a 5 percent pay raise was approved by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Throughout the whole process educators, politicians, journalists and supporters took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the matter.
— Emily Hilliard (@housepie) March 1, 2018
Some in the government supported the teachers:
If you can read this, thank a teacher. (By “thank” I mean pay them a competitive salary, fund their health insurance program, and treat them like professionals with the respect they deserve.) #55strong#55united
— (((Mike Pushkin))) (@pushkinforhouse) February 23, 2018
— Shawn Fluharty (@WVUFLU) March 4, 2018
While other individuals chose to go after those in charge:
WV Senate: We have to be deliberate. We have to provide thoughtful analysis. We have to be focused.
Also WV Senate: Let’s send the wrong amended bill to the House and cause a huge parliamentary crisis and one of the worst legislative gaffes.
WV Teachers: Need a proofreader?
— Tega McGuffin (@tegamcguffin) March 4, 2018
— Lynn Knowles, NBCT (@ogmsespanol) February 26, 2018
In the meantime, the strike received national attention from Hollywood stars:
I’m always shocked how little teachers are paid. Don’t our representatives know that teachers have one of the hardest and most important jobs in our country ? https://t.co/heWmQHE2eo
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) February 26, 2018
But at the end of the day, it seemed that the teachers wanted to be with their students instead of striking:
The emotions are real. I just had a South Charleston teacher cry to me that she wants to be with her students. Man, what passion. #WVTeacherStrike
— Carrie Hodousek (@CarrieHodousek) February 23, 2018
Teachers should be paid more than coal baron criminals #WVTeacherStrike
— it’s jen iskow (@baby___jean) February 23, 2018
The media also poked a little fun at the process:
#WVSenate: “We can’t afford to invest in education!”
Fails to read, proof, or edit work, and then passes wrong bill on to the House.
Delicious irony in this #WVTeacherStrike
— Bert Fulks (@BertFulks) March 4, 2018
Cain and Cade Elkins pic.twitter.com/v7eI6xsWid
— Brad McElhinny (@BradMcElhinny) March 5, 2018
Spotted in one of the men’s bathrooms at the WV capitol. pic.twitter.com/lIqkkTuwJI
— Jake Jarvis (@NewsroomJake) March 5, 2018
Supporters made sure to remind the teachers that they were not alone:
— WV Democratic Women (@WVFDW) February 24, 2018
— Lex Hough (@LexHough) February 22, 2018
Finally, when the strike was declared over, teachers expressed their gratitude:
“My kids can finally see democracy,” said Danielle Harris, 3rd grade teacher, in tears as 5% pay raise deal is announced in WV. “These strikes aren’t for nothing.”
— Jess Bidgood (@jessbidgood) March 6, 2018