Kentucky’s largest teachers’ union called off a statewide strike after Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed a bill Oct. 19 to keep state employees’ health insurance intact for 2005.
Mr. Fletcher, a Republican, had crafted his own health-insurance plan, which was to go into effect in 2005, after he and the legislature failed to compromise on a biennial budget during the spring legislative session.
The Kentucky Education Association planned to strike on Oct. 27 if the governor didn’t change his plan. The 30,000-member union said that increases in premiums and deductibles would have eaten into much of the 3 percent pay raise teachers will get this year.
Under the bill passed Oct. 19 in a special legislative session, teachers and other state employees will not change plans or premiums.
The new law also appropriates $2.4 billion for K-12 schools, assuring school districts that their funding will continue to flow through the end of the current school year, said Lisa Y. Gross, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.