Kentucky teachers hold 'walk-ins' as pension reform bill moves through legislature

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The day after a Senate committee passed the pension reform bill with a 7 to 4 vote, teachers throughout central Kentucky held rallies to express their concern.

"We want lawmakers to hear our voices and we want to protect our pensions," said Kelly Beckett, a teacher at Elkhorn Middle School.

The rallies called walk-ins, bringing teachers together outside of their school before their day got underway.

"I think the walk-in is a statement from teachers that we don't want to take days away from our kids," said Cheryl Peña, a teacher at Justice Elementary.

Teachers in the state of Kentucky do not receive social security, for that reason their pension plans are crucial to their time following their work in the classroom.

"When they start pulling things away from us it really hurts," said Peña.

The pension bill currently up for consideration, stripping some teachers of their cost of living adjustments something they feel they were promised.

Teachers in Kentucky say they kept a close eye on what was going on with statewide strikes recently in West Virginia.

"I think that's always on the back of our minds especially seeing what other states like West Virginia have successfully done. I don't think that's our goal though, our goal is to stay in the classroom every day," explained Beckett.

While they hope to stay in the classroom each day, they say they will come to the State Capitol if needed.

"Right now we have permission from our superintendent here in Clark County that if we feel we need to go to Frankfort we can go and he even said he will provide the buses to take us," said Peña.

The full Senate is expected to hear the pension reform bill Friday morning.

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