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‘SOTC’: Jefferson County Educators Lead Pension Protest Efforts

Posted: 10:21 AM, May 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-12 10:28:04-04

(LEX 18) — On “State of the Commonwealth” this week LEX 18 looks at the pension crisis.

One group of teachers was noticeably in Frankfort protesting potential changes more than others: educators from Jefferson County.

There were several sickout days resulting in Jefferson County Schools being closed during the legislative session, as teachers massed in Frankfort to make their voices heard.

Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim said there was a real fear across the state that a hidden bill could emerge, as happened at the end of the 2018 session. He says that’s why so many teachers chose to call out, throw on red clothing and engage.

“We can tweak it for future hires, and work with the state,” McKim said. “But in general, the basic plan design is a sound one, and we can get to full funding if we just stay the course.”

McKim says if lawmakers continue to fund the state retirement system, which was not happening at times during the last 20 years, then everyone should be able to keep their promised pensions.

He said that if called to the negotiating table, JCTA and other organizations would be willing to do their parts.

“The most important thing that lawmakers can do to avoid the marches on Frankfort and that sort of thing, is to have educators at the table,” he said. “Have the stakeholder groups there. Work with us, and we’ll find common ground together to move forward.”