At rally, Harrison Co. teachers react to governor's pension proposal

CYNTHIANA, Ky. (WKYT) - A big crowd of teachers and other public workers gathered outside the Harrison County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon voicing their concerns about the governor's pension proposal.

Many of them held signs, such as "Save our pensions" and "Keep the promise."

Even with the governor's announcement, teachers at the rally said they are still concerned.

"We have been humble and honorable workers for this state," said Julie Lucky, a Harrison County teacher. "Everybody has. And we need for you, Governor Bevin and our representatives and our senators, to understand that."

Lawmakers say they will not touch pensions for those already retired or in hazardous jobs, and they will not raise the retirement age for current teachers. New teachers will enroll in 401(k)-type plans.

(You can read more about the pension proposal - including the documents released about it - right here.)

"We've come up with a plan that will save this over the course of the next 30 years. It takes more time. But it will allow us to deliver on the promise," Gov. Matt Bevin said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

"If you are a retiree, if you are working toward retirement," he said, "you should be rejoicing at this bill."

But folks at the rally were not rejoicing. They say they still have a lot of questions about what exactly will happen to their pensions when they hit 27 years of service. They also said they are worried about recruiting and keeping teachers, as well as the very future of the public school system because of the cost to cities, counties and taxpayers.

"Find revenue," said Mary June Brunker, a retired teacher and Harrison County school board member. "Do what you have to do for the crisis, but don't ruin public education in Kentucky."

Gov. Bevin said he will call a special session to tackle the pension issue as soon as possible. If their proposal passes, it will not go into effect until July 1.




 
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