Kentucky Teachers Latest to Protest Public Worker Pay, Benefits

Mayor Greg Fischer and Gov. Matt Bevin took questions from the media at the Grow with Google event in Louisville on Thursday

Teachers and public employees have fought the proposed changes, which have included transitioning new hires into a "hybrid" system that more closely resembles a 401 (k). That plan will require teachers to contribute 9.105 percent of their salary to their retirement plan.

GIS Superintendent Keith Hale told the Glasgow Daily Times over the phone that Glasgow Independent did not have an increase of teachers calling out sick on Friday.

School boards will also be required to pay an additional 2 percent for the new members in the cash balance plan. Beshear took to Twitter to announce his intentions to sue over the rushed bill.

Limits the number of sick days teachers can put toward their retirement.

"One of the most important protections this approach provides is preventing the abusive practice of enhancing benefits retroactively while guaranteeing them prospectively at levels nowhere close to being properly prefunded, which is absolutely critical if defined-benefit systems are to avoid creating these huge liabilities", Waters said.

"How can you do that when there's really 300 other pages to deal with in that bill - and who knows what they say?" she said, adding that one of her concerns regards school employees hired after January 1, 2019, and the uncertainty of their pensions.

Many SB 151 opponents say lawmakers should have looked for additional funding sources before making reforms to the pension system.

"We'll get through this and make the most of what we've got".

"We are at a crossroads here and if we go the wrong way it will be to our Commonwealth's detriment", an emotional KEA President Stephanie Winkler told the crowd.

Covington spokesperson Deb Vance said 180 of 271 teachers called to say they're taking a personal day on Monday.

Bentley's GOP colleague Jill York, of Grayson, did not support the bill. In the House, Republicans turned to one of the few teachers in the state legislature to carry the bill in the hopes he could calm the storm of protests outside.

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"It doesn't say that the legislature can basically ignore it", Wayne said.

As teachers chanted, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer tweeted, thanking teachers who "showed up for work".

They likened the bill's sudden resurgence to a classic "bait and switch" that left no time for public vetting.

Ross said he believes the bill will affect the hiring of new teachers. "We're running short of time".

Matthews said while elected officials represent their constituents, "I didn't see lots of people up there (in Frankfort) supporting this legislation, which is troubling". "We need good teachers, not just anybody who would walk in the door".

Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, also voted no to the bill and said what unfolded in the Capitol Thursday was "reprehensible".

Union officials said the pension bill had all but died earlier in March and was suddenly revived Thursday as Republican lawmakers attached it to another bill that addressed wastewater services, not teacher pensions.

She said the objective of committee hearings is to vet a bill and identify those who stand to benefit from its passage, and that was not accomplished Thursday.

Gov. Matt Bevin indicated Thursday night he intends to sign the pension bill into law.

In order for both the House and Senate to pass a two-year state budget on Monday before the gubernatorial veto period begins, the conference committee would have to present a compromise bill that morning that reconciled the differing budgets passed by each chamber, and then have both full chambers pass the bill by that evening. "Anyone who will receive a retirement check in the years ahead, owes a deep debt of gratitude to these 71 men and women who did the right thing".

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