Looking towards the holiday break, your bargaining team wanted to provide everyone an update.
After the October bargaining session, KPBSD leadership rejected our package proposal. The District stubbornly refuses a salary increase on the pay scale. The district also refuses to shoulder their fair share of health care costs and instead continues to shift costs to employees. Rather than work toward a contract, KPBSD leadership made it clear that they are willing to spend money to fund consultants and administrative programs rather than paying for their current employees.
KPBSD leadership could have offered a counter to our October proposal. Instead their answer again was NO. If the district runs out the clock, as they have done in the past, you will likely get no contract changes for this year and only more uncertainty. Meanwhile other Districts around the state have worked together and are settling contracts.
The Anchorage Education Association just settled a very fair contract with raises equivalent to 2% each year. Ketchikan educators reached a similar agreement. These Associations and their respective Districts face the same financial constraints we do but they have been able to reach agreement at the table without resorting to bait and switch moves like KPBSD’s “Special Enrollment Period”.
AEA had two consecutive years of difficult bargaining and responded in strength. They won their raises because of inspiring and active leaders in every building and engaged members willing to stand together for what they deserve. Their involvement led to a powerful walkout at a school board meeting which has since become national news. Video coverage of that is here. We strongly encourage everyone to watch this powerful demonstration of collective action and solidarity. https://www.ktva.com/story/39423144/this-is-what-is-coming-teachers-walk-out-before-asd-talks
Our union is as strong as its members. If we want what Anchorage or Ketchikan won we need to act together. KPEA and KPESA held our first Picket Captain training in November. More will follow! We’re getting ready and we need you on board. Victory will take all of us acting together. Your building needs a leader and active union volunteers. KPEA and KPESA can provide all the training, information, and tactics but we can’t do it without you.
This is our Union. Yours and mine. We can’t wait for someone else to stand up. And if we do nothing we will get nothing.
The holidays are a busy time. The last thing we want is to add additional stress to what should be a merry time of the year. Enjoy your Holidays. Rest and relax. We’ll keep up the fight in 2019!
All I want for Christmas is A FAIR CONTRACT NOW! Arbitration is scheduled for February 26th and 27th. But strike season starts in January.
Please take a moment and vote for your 2019 Delegate Assembly representatives and 3 suggested amendments to the KPEA Constitution and Bylaws:
The amendments were approved by our Policy Assembly and leadership supports these changes, many are in response to changing laws, some will improve the way we do business. Click the link below to vote, your log in username is your last name and your password is your membership number printed on your card or call 1-800-996-3225 and they can look it up for you very quickly!
The voting window closes at 11:59pm Saturday, Nov. 4
The bargaining process is in its 10th month already and next week we have two opportunities to stand together in solidarity and insist that the school district gives us a fair contract ASAP!
Wednesday the 17th at 6:00pm in the Skyview Library, we will meet with the district again to give them an opportunity to reach a settlement before arbitration. It is vital that we have members show up and support our efforts to get a contract that values the dedication to our students.
Please connect with us via Facebook or on our website for further details.
KPEA September Newsletter
Be sure to check our website for updates on bargaining, healthcare, and all things KPEA. Also like us on Facebook!
Policy Assembly is this Saturday Oct. 6, 10:00am at the KPEA office. This is our annual meeting to set policy for the next year. All members are welcome, and we need to hear your voice! Please RSVP with David Brighton (907)690-5732.
Salary Placement. Make sure your salary placement is correct. It is binding and irrevocable on both the District and the employee if no objection is raised in writing by either on or before November 1 of the school year.
Please follow the link to nominate a coworker as Educator of the Month: http://kpea-kpesa.org/node/18
The next time you are on the WebPay Portal, click on Certifications and check to see when your teaching certificate(s) expires. Make plans to take courses and submit renewal applications in a timely manner.
Thinking about retiring? Submit a notice and request no later than November 1 to exchange up to five personal leave days for a contract extension for site level approved projects. The remainder of personal leave would be eligible for cash out at the per diem rate.
As always, please call or email if you have any questions.
Since July 1, 2018, KPBSD educators have been working without a contract. Despite our efforts to bargain in good faith with the district, they have been unwilling to provide us with an offer that would address some of the most pressing issues we face; salary, health insurance, and contract duration. The district has received over $2 million in additional funds from the State of Alaska for next fiscal year, and stands to receive even more the following year. Even with this additional money, the district has yet to provide any initial financial offers to our bargaining teams.
We have also asked the district for data and information about the health insurance program that would allow us to implement additional cost saving changes. The district agreed to provide that information on August 20th. They have provided no data.
Recently, the district made a disturbing decision that could endanger the fiscal sustainability of our health insurance plan by offering an emergency open enrollment period with only one option: to switch from the traditional to high deductible. They made this plan and announced it to the healthcare committee before we set the rate! Essentially, the district is attempting to get our members to opt into plans without reliable information about the cost. We will not know what the rates are until we get the data we requested from the insurance broker. More troubling still is the fact that the district has not even made a request to the broker to provide the information the bargaining team has requested.
KPEA and KPESA are attempting to bargain in good faith with the district and secure a contract that protects our rights as educators, compensates us fairly for the jobs we do, and provides affordable and reliable health insurance benefits to our families. At this time, the district does not seem willing to honor our modest requests for information that will allow us to continue our negotiations.
It is vital that we contact our principals and school board members and urge them to direct the district to come to the bargaining table in good faith, with the information we’ve requested. KPBSD educators deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity that we should our students every day. Please take the time to email (via Outlook) or call your school board member today.
List School Board Contact Information Here:
Soldotna - Penny Vadla - 262-7249
Homer – Zen Kelly – 235-9700
K Beach – Dan Castimore – 398-3609
Homer - Mike Illg – 299-6425
Sterling – Marty Anderson – 252-7800
Ninilchick – Debbie Cary – 398-8308
Seward – Lynn Holh – 224-2300
Kenai - Tim Navarre – 394-2303
Nikiski – Jason Tauriainen – 398-1024