School district, teacher's union agree to tentative deal
The Anchorage School District and Anchorage Education Association have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract that extends through June 30, 2018. The current contract, which covers more than 3,300 employees, expired on June 30, 2017.
“There were some folks that had some concerns over the last contract and that was over the language,” Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop said. “We worked with the different bargaining units and the two different teams and came to an agreement that we feel we all can support.”
"The ASD appreciates the work and dedication of our teachers and other AEA members. We value the work they do and their recognition of the district’s overall fiscal situation,” said Todd Hess, chief of human resources.
Tom Klaameyer, AEA president, said, “AEA members are committed to working with the district to provide an excellent education for all of our students. This agreement will allow us to focus on that core mission together in the short term while addressing the long-term need for full public education funding at the state level.”
He continued, “A sustainable budget which prioritizes public education is vital for the reduction of class sizes and the recruitment and retention of caring, effective educators who truly inspire our students and help ensure their success.”
The tentative agreement includes the following highlights:
- One-year contract agreement expiring June 30, 2018
- Salary increases
- Step and column movements as applicable
- District health insurance contributions
- $65 increase per month per employee for health care benefits, raising the amount to $1,645 monthly
- Leave and work hours
- Additional personal leave days
- Other benefits
- $800,000 added to the District Health Reserve Account for the benefit of AEA members
“The goal always is you want to be a terrific employer,” Dr. Bishop said. “I want this where people want to come to work every day. I know when our employees are feeling good about the work they are doing, the students are going to benefit. That’s really important to me as a leader.”
The School District says sometimes their hands are tied because they really don’t create money. That comes from student enrollment and is generated by student allocation appropriation along with local money. There is a set amount that is shared among all the employees.
“That’s why this language change was important to us to move forward.” Dr. Bishop said. “Because it was something our employee group wanted and I wanted to demonstrate that we want to be able to come to terms to work together because we know the work of education is done in the classrooms.
AEA members will vote on the tentative agreement between February 13 and 16. If ratified by the Union, the Anchorage School Board will consider the tentative agreement as an action item on the February 20 agenda.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.