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.