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At Morgan Co. Schools, business as usual

March 15, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Morgan County teachers did not participate in Wednesday's teacher walkout that canceled classes in at least 14 counties in West Virginia.

Schools Superintendent David Temple said the teacher absentee rate was not higher or lower than normal.

"It's a regular day. Our employees are working like every day," Temple said.

He said 220 teachers are employed in Morgan County, and "all the schools are open."

However, "we feel the salaries need to be increased at a more comparable level," Temple said.

He said a low percentage of Morgan County teachers are union members.

Jerry Potter, a Warm Springs Intermediate School teacher and a member of the West Virginia Education Association (WVEA), said the biggest reason Morgan County teachers did not vote to participate in the walkout was "there was not enough information, and it needed to be better organized."

He said a lot of people felt the timing was not good and that so many school days were lost due to snow.

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"We did have quite a number of votes," Potter said.

Gary Archer, a WVEA member advocacy specialist in Charleston, W.Va., said many of the counties with high union membership decided not to participate in Wednesday's walkout.

Hundreds of teachers in neighboring Berkeley and Jefferson counties participated in the walkout, resulting in the cancellation of classes.

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