We hope Kentucky teachers don't heed the call of the Jefferson County Teachers Association for a statewide strike at the end of September.
The Jefferson County group has called for the strike in response to an increase in health insurance premiums for teachers and other state employees. Whether a strike actually occurs on Sept. 30 apparently is up to the state teachers group, the Kentucky Education Association, which will meet next week to consider the issue.
Rising health insurance costs have forced Gov. Ernie Fletcher to shift more of the burden to state employees. In effort to ease the pain, Fletcher announced this week that teachers and other state employees would receive a 1 percent pay raise beginning Jan. 1. That raise, however, will not be enough to pay for the higher insurance premiums.
We don't question the teachers' argument that the insurance increase amounts to a pay cut for state employees. It will, in fact, result in a cut in take-home pay for teachers and other state employees who, according to the Associated Press, already pay a bigger share of their insurance costs than in any other state.