FAIRMONT — Teachers (and other state workers) were the ones making all the noise in the gym at East Fairmont High School on Feb. 10.

They were there to talk to state lawmakers about the state of their benefits with PEIA, the state Public Employees Insurance Agency.

PEIA premium hikes are looming, and the workers under the plan will get just a 1 percent raise, if Gov. Jim Justice has anything to do about it.

50th House Del. Mike Caputo, a Democrat, said such a raise amounts to “a damned Christmas ham.”

Bill Stalnaker, who teaches at North Marion High School, said he wouldn’t be surprised if the state chapters of the American Federation of Teachers and West Virginia Education Association called a strike.

He feels there’s no other choice anyway, he said.

“If we don’t walk out, we’re crazy.”