Governor Bevin’s post on ‘sick of sickouts’ gets reaction

Kentucky Gov Matt Bevin video still
Kentucky Gov Matt Bevin video still
Updated: Mar. 12, 2019 at 5:57 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s social media post Monday about teachers and the Jefferson County’s teachers union is all the buzz in Frankfort.

So, just what was the governor saying?

“The governor, continuing to be negative as he is about them (teachers) just makes it worse," Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA) President Brent McKim said.

McKim is talking about the swing Bevin took at protesting teachers who were headed to Frankfort on his Facebook page.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Bevin says he’s ‘sick of sickouts,’ JCTA union president denies governor’s ‘bizarre’ claims

“The idea that we would be calling in sick and doing it in the expense of kids,” Bevin said in the video.

McKim responded to the governor’s social media comments saying teachers are trying to stay in school.

“I don’t know what you do about a governor that goes on social media and bashes teachers, when they’re trying to come up with ways to keep schools open,” McKim said.

JCTA president Brent McKim
JCTA president Brent McKim(WAVE 3 News)

The governor didn’t hold back on Jefferson County or McKim, in the unsuccessful effort to stop teachers from going to Frankfort.

“The teachers’ union pretending, ‘Oh we’re not really supportive of this,’” Bevin said in the video. “(JCTA is) reloading sick day hours into the accounts of teachers, so they can call in sick when they’re not sick. This is the kind of stuff that taxpayers -- that’s those of you watching this -- you should be offended by that.”

McKim says that statement is false and ridiculous.

“There is no way for us to reload sick days, that’s just not an option and it’s just a strange thing from our point of view for him to even be saying,” McKim said. “We’ve done everything we can do to create options to keep schools open and it’s just really absurd for the governor to make an accusation like that.”

WAVE 3 News wanted to talk with Bevin on Tuesday about the accusations, but his office did not respond to our requests.

GOP sources said the governor’s post was really about that deal struck between JCPS and JCTA. They said in their opinion, the governor believes that deal, which was three teachers from each school going to Frankfort for each of the remaining days of the session so classes could continue, was a way to use tax payer dollars to allow teachers to lobby Frankfort.

The teachers did not accept the deal in Jefferson County.

McKim said the deal to keep the district open would not have cost the district a penny more. He said it allowed those teachers minimal days off and an opportunity to learn about the legislative process.

Several teachers said they are in Frankfort because they don’t trust some lawmakers after the last legislative session when the pension legislation was hidden in a sewer bill.

JCPS had no comment on the governor’s remarks.

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