The teacher revolt train keeps rolling on.
Next stop: Kentucky.
The issue: Pensions.
Randy has not just had to fight the state of Kentucky on the issue of pensions. He has battled his teacher union leadership.
And even now. With thousands of teachers jamming the state capital, the Kentucky union leadership is warning caution.
The showdown comes at a time of growing unrest among public educators across the country, led by thousands of West Virginia teachers who walked off the job for nine days to secure a 5 percent pay raise from the state legislature. Teachers in Arizona and Oklahoma are considering similar action.
In Kentucky, some teachers say they are willing to strike. But Stephanie Winkler, president of the Kentucky Education Association, said striking is illegal in Kentucky. She said the only way it could happen is if superintendents agreed to close the schools.
“We hope it doesn’t have to come to that,” Winkler said, adding: “Anything’s possible.”
A teacher strike was illegal in West Virginia. But it didn’t matter.
In West Virginia, a right to work state since 2016, union leaders urged caution too. They were leaders who could not bring themselves to lead.
The lesson for every politician and Supreme Court justice: Taking away collective bargaining and the right to strike will not bring you labor peace.
Kentucky teachers are not fighting for a pay raise or health benefits as in West Virginia.
Kentucky teachers are telling lawmakers not to change their retirement benefits. The state is at least $41 billion short of what it needs to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years.
But unlike Illinois, Kentucky has no constitutional pension protection.
But they can strike. Even if it is a wildcat strike. Even if the leaders preach caution.