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10/20/2004

Health Plan Passes; Teachers Strike Called Off

State teachers have voted to call off a threatened strike.
Kentucky Education Association officials met Tuesday night in Frankfort, hours after legislators passed a proposal to sweeten 2005 health insurance benefits. K-E-A president Frances Steenbergen called the night -quote- "history making."
Earlier, both chambers of the General Assembly signed off on last-minute changes to the state plan. The action capped more than two weeks of a special session. Governor Ernie Fletcher signed the new proposal Tuesday night. The teachers then voted to cancel their planned October 27th strike.
When Fletcher announced next year's state health insurance proposal, it was met with a huge public outcry. Teachers were angered over hikes in rates and deductibles. They threatened to walk off the job if their original benefits weren't restored.

Commentary:
I am very proud of the KEA for holding their ground on this issue and not letting KY Gov. Ernie Fletcher strong-arm them on this issue. This proves that unions and solidarity in the work place works. Although the state had a "no-strike" clause for teachers the KEA still told the Fletcher Administration we aren't going to stand for this and voted to strike unless their demands were met....Guess what, the Fletcher Administration backed down and returned what was rightfully theirs despite what the Gov. told the press a month ago.

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