- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia’s largest teachers union is pressing lawmakers to include a pay raise in the budget, saying low wages have led to staffing shortages across the state.

Jim Livingston, president of the Virginia Education Association, says around 300 teachers traveled to Richmond for a lobbying day Monday.

State employees were supposed to get a 3 percent raise under the budget passed by lawmakers last session, but those plans were scrapped due to the budget shortfall.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s budget proposal includes a 1.5 percent one-time bonus for state workers and teachers next year. But the union says that’s not enough and is pushing for a 2 percent increase not tied to revenues.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Livingston says there’s a “teacher crisis” in Virginia, with over 800 unfilled positions.

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