This article appeared in the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has details about the end of the strike that you won’t read anywhere else.

Democratic legislators warned the striking teachers that they had to change the makeup of the legislature if they want to get a real change on the health care costs, which was one of the reasons they went on strike.

Shortly after [Governor] Justice announced a deal had been reached, a group of Democratic lawmakers appeared before the crowd, urging the audience to show up for the November election, when all 100 House members, among other lawmakers, have their seats up for grabs.

“If you do not come back this November, they’re going to come back with vengeance,” said Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton.

He noted that Public Employees Insurance Agency health coverage, which has been the primary concern among many striking employees, isn’t “fixed.” Lawmakers are planning to provide enough funding to keep any premium increases and benefit cuts at bay through at least mid-2019, and the governor has established a task force to study long-term solutions.

“It’s not going to get fixed with the makeup of this current Legislature,” Sponaugle said.

Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, also brought up PEIA.

“Remember who made you come here the last two weeks,” Romano said, “and remember in November.”

Union leaders recognized the excitement of solidarity. There has never been a strike that engaged teachers in all 55 counties. Only 47 counties participated in the last strike, in 1990.

And the teachers know that the movement they started is inspiring teachers in Oklahoma:

Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association union, said of the strike that “teachers and service professionals across the state have put their lives on the line and put them on hold to make sure democracy was upheld and that their voices were heard. This allows teachers to come back to West Virginia and stay. We’re turning the corner, folks; it’s time to come back home.

“I think we’ve awakened a sleeping giant,” Lee said. “Now we’ve learned that, if we open our eyes and unite collectively and watch the process and make sure that we’re following the process, that we have strength, far more than we ever believed.”

He said he isn’t concerned about the possibility of not having 180 separate school days, saying teachers “know that they will be able to get [students] to the point they need to be.”

Before the crowd dispersed Tuesday, it chanted “West Virginia first; Oklahoma next!” Oklahoma school employees have been mulling a strike, according to news reports.