Teachers rally for AEA in suit over PEEHIP increases

Teachers rally in Montgomery as supreme court hears case against PEEHIP

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Teachers from across Alabama rallied in support of the Alabama Education Association’s lawsuit against the Public Education Employees Health Insurance Plan, or PEEHIP.

The Alabama Supreme Court heard the case Wednesday morning.

AEA claims that back in 2016 PEEHIP’s board did not follow the state’s open meeting law when it increased premiums and spousal surcharges. PEEHIP claims it did everything by the book.

In August 2017, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Johnny Hardwick ruled the board violated the Alabama Open Meetings Act by approving the increases behind closed doors.

At Wednesday’s rally, the crowd chanted and held up signs stating “Return our raise.”

One teacher who spoke with WSFA 12 News says that if the state’s highest court upholds Hardwick’s ruiling, they should get back around $2,000.

“We are professionals,” said Sheila Painter, a teacher at Hueytown High School, located outside Birmingham. "We did go to college, believe it or not. We are just not paid babysitters and, speaking of which, babysitters make even more money than we do. We are hoping this appeal will be denied to PEEHIP and our raises will be returned in time for Christmas.

The Alabama Supreme Court has not given a timeline on when it will make its ruling.

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