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Kenai Peninsula Education Association &
Kenai Peninsula Educational Support Association

Representing educators and education support staff on the Kenai Peninsula

View the Tentative Agreement between KPEA-KPESA and KPBSD here.

Bargaining >>>

State of the Bargain, Sept. 13, 2019 (PDF)

The September 12th 2019 negotiating session was not publicized. After receiving threatening phone calls Wednesday, the Associations and the District felt it was prudent to move forward with an abundance of caution.

Then KPBSD provided us with their proposal. Their proposal increases the District contribution to the healthcare cap by $300 over the current HDHP rate. Employees would be expected to pay $455.27 per month for health insurance over nine months. 

Our team responded with a counter proposal. Our Counterproposal had the same health insurance plan as our previous proposal, so under our proposal employees would be expected to pay $204.92 per month for health insurance over nine months.

Other changes include this change to the 2.0% increase for FY21

The parties have expressed concerns related to FY20 money outside of the funding formula. Should KPBSD receive those moneys, the salary schedule increases in the amount of 2.0 percent in FY21.

Should that money be mitigated or diminished, the salary schedule increases shall be proportionate to the amount of 2.0 percent in FY21.

So our 2.0% raise for FY21 is contingent on KBPSD receiving the money. Our team is confident that we will receive the money. The District team has not been open to listening to our evidence. So instead of trying to change their mind, we made a move with this new proposal.

We also provided the District a legal opinion from Mr. Friedman’s former colleague Howard Trickey, a leading education attorney in Alaska, supporting our position that KPBSD will receive that money.

The other clarifying detail was the effective date of our health care cap. As in our previous proposals, the Associations’ propose increasing the cap to $2338.85. We proposed this increase for FY20 and our position was that it would be effective July 1, 2019. In our proposal we added that effective date to make it clear. This was not “new transition language”

At the table the District negotiating team seemed to be on the same page

Video Here (

And lastly, our proposal included a sunset clause of September 13th at 4:00 PM. This protects our previous position and allows us flexibility in negotiating. KPBSD did not respond to us by this deadline. The District did not request more time. They did not indicate they would make a counter proposal. Instead our deadline came and went, and they issued a press release.

The School Board has scheduled an Executive Session for Monday at 6:00pm.  The Association will available immediately after this session to talk with the District about settling this bargain.

Critical Talking Points

This bargain is about securing quality, affordable healthcare for all public school employees in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. The lack of an affordable health care option is causing educators to leave which negatively impacts students. KPEA/KPESA is ready to settle the moment the District makes an offer that reduces the financial burden healthcare premiums are having on educators.


  • Over the past three years’ teachers’ health insurance premiums have doubled.
  • Kenai educators currently pay the highest monthly premiums of any comparable school district in Alaska while making less money than their counterparts in other districts.
  • KPBSD has the money to settle this bargain right now.
  • KPBSD ended last year with a nonexempt fund balance of $12,807,636.00
  • KPBSD has more than $3 million in their Equipment fund
  • Despite submitting a formal Public Document request on September 7th, KPBSD has not yet told us how much they paid Saul Friedman (attorney) for negotiations.
  • In the District’s cost estimate of our proposal, they include more than 180 employees who are not paid through the general fund. The cost of these employees’ salary and benefits should not be included in the cost estimate given to the Associations and the School Board. We have asked for weeks for them to be removed from the cost estimate.
  • We anticipate health insurance costs will be lower than Brokers and Dave Jones is portraying to the board. The new plans have higher deductibles than the current benefit. This would lower usage. The Health Care Committee expects further savings from switching to the AETNA network. The newly negotiated contract with Central Peninsula Hospital will continue to keep costs down.


See more detail and more information on our bargaining page.

Your bargaining team just wrapped up yet another bargaining session with the District. As you likely know, the meeting was not publicized due to ongoing security concerns for all parties engaged in this process. Thank you for your patience and support.

Here are the key takeaways from tonight’s session:

  • The District rejected the proposal we had given them during our last bargaining session citing concerns over the fate of one-time State money currently tied up in a lawsuit between the legislature and Governor Dunleavy. Despite the Association’s presentation of an expert legal opinion that the funds will be distributed, the District would not budge on this issue.
  • The District provided a counter offer which did not satisfy our demands and would have continued to place an undue financial burden on our members and their families concerning healthcare premiums.
  • At roughly 9:30 pm, your team provided a counter offer that contained our previous healthcare proposal but attempted to acknowledge the District’s concerns regarding the one-time funding from the State. This offer would include contingency language in the contract that would tie our FY21 salary increase to the fate of the one-time money.
  • Our offer is currently with the District and we have given them a deadline of 4:00 pm on Friday, September 13 to respond.

We have been bargaining for over 575 days. For even longer than that, healthcare premiums have cut into our financial stability and peace of mind. Our recent offer acknowledges that fact and continues to place healthcare at the top of our priority list. The District is now faced with a choice that will determine how we proceed. They can choose to respect us and agree to the compromise that we have proposed, or they can reject it and we will show them how strong and united we really are.

Link to the Association's proposal and KPBSD's proposal

In Solidarity

David Brighton & Anne McCabe


Association Proposal:

Association Proposal (PDF)

District Proposal to KPEA:

District Proposal to KPEA (PDF)

District Proposal to KPESA:

District Proposal to KPESA (PDF)

Read the current Union proposal to the District here. The District team will bring it before the board next week. Another session will be scheduled afterwards.

September 5th Proposal

Read the Proposal >>

After District caucus:

First portion of the negotiations:

Let's let the school board know how important a contract is to us! Call your school board member(s) - any and all! - between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, June 28.

Penny Vadla - 262-7249
Zen Kelly - 235-9700
Dan Castimore - 398-3609
Mike Illg - 299-6425
Greg Madden - 420-4120
Debbie Cary - 398-8308
Lynn Hohl - 224-7300
Matt Morse - 907-252-0573
Jason Tauriainen - 398-1024

Tell them to take the negotiations seriously, put a sustainable offer on the table, and finish this negotiation. We want to start the school year with a strong contract that provides our families with sustainable healthcare so we can focus on our students this fall.

The school board will be meeting on Monday, July 1 @ 6 p.m. Please come and let the school board know you are fed up with their stalling tactics at the bargaining table.

Please RSVP here

Did you know?

  • The bargaining team has asked for a salary increase below inflation in order to address the healthcare concern that the district is refusing to budge on.
  • Other districts across Alaska have settled 3 year contracts including more than our requested salary increases.
  • The increasing cost of healthcare has been larger than any pay increase that I have seen in two years meaning I am working the same job for less.
  • With the Personalized Learning initiative I am required to do more for less pay.
  • The district’s proportion of the healthcare costs is shifting to the employees and we can’t afford to pay more. Other districts are able to provide a similar benefit for less cost.
  • During the emergency open enrollment we took on increased risk with higher deductibles saving the district $1.2 million. Rather than using that money to settle a contract the school board voted to take it away from employees (after they agreed to spend it on employee benefits)!
  • The bargaining team is willing to accept higher deductibles IF the savings reduce the premium cost.
  • The district team wants to appear like they are bargaining but is not making an offer at the table.


Hope to see you there!

In Solidarity,

Dave Brighton

This is a link to a one minute video that Sonora Martin from SOHI made about being part of the ski team. The video won 1st place in a national video contest this year at the US Junior National Championships where it was shown to athletes, coaches, and teams from all over the US. It was also shown at Senior Worlds. It is a testament to the impact of extra-curricular activities and electives (aerial video). 

It's worth the minute to watch!!

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