KONZ | Longtime JCPS teachers union president Brent McKim re-ele - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KONZ | Longtime JCPS teachers union president Brent McKim re-elected to 3-year term

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The longtime president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association was recently re-elected to his post and will serve another three years. 

Brent McKim, who has been the union president since 2001, received 86 percent of the vote during the election, which ran from March 25 through April 1.

"It's certainly an honor to be re-elected, we are facing a lot of challenges and I believe our members thought that my experience would be very valuable in dealing with those challenges," McKim told WDRB News on Wednesday, noting issues with the state pension system, efforts to privatize public education and "attacks on the job security of teachers which impacts our ability to attract and keep new teachers."

The union represents approximately 5,700 JCPS teachers and other rank-and-file employees. Nearly 1,300 votes were cast in this year's election, according to McKim.

McKim initially faced opposition from three other teachers, all from duPont Manual High School -- Randolph Wieck, Glenn Zwanzig and Kris Tatro. However, all but Wieck withdrew before the tabulation of votes. 

Both Wieck and Zwanzig said they ran against McKim because of problems with the state's teacher retirement system, which faces nearly $14 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Wieck could not be reached for immediate comment on Wednesday.

The other JCTA officers -- vice president Tammy Berlin, secretary Laura Herder and treasurer Andrew Bailey -- were also re-elected to new three-year terms. 

Berlin, a teacher at Atherton High, and Bailey, a teacher at Fairdale High, had no opposition in the election, while Herder, a teacher at Crums Lane Elementary, faced opposition from Beverly Chester-Burton, a teacher at Stuart Middle.

According to the district, McKim is paid about $105,000 annually. As WDRB reported last summer, $75,000 comes directly from JCPS -- the going rate for a high school physics teacher with a master's degree and 23 years' experience -- despite the fact that McKim hasn't taught since leaving Manual to serve as JCTA president at the start of the 2001-02 school year.

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McKim played a key role in helping negotiate a new five-year contract between the union and JCPS in 2013.

Last fall, the union also helped negotiate an agreement with the district that gave teachers an $820 raise this school year and a 2 percent raise next school year.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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