LEWISBURG, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice tells a gathering of teachers and other public employees in West Virginia that the terms of their health insurance coverage should remain unchanged in the next fiscal year.

Teachers have held rallies to protest low pay, small proposed raises and expected insurance rate hikes starting July 1.

Speaking Tuesday evening in Lewisburg, Justice says their Public Employees Insurance Agency coverage and premiums are far better than they could find now in the commercial marketplace.

His chief of staff, Mike Hall, says he’s talked to the head of PEIA and its finance board will “freeze it, in other words keep what you have today … for the next fiscal year.”

West Virginia’s Senate passed legislation to give teachers annual pay raises of 1 percent over a five-year period.