Anchorage (KTUU) The union representing Anchorage School District teachers says its members are frustrated by “increasing demands” on its members and the lack of a collective bargaining agreement. On Monday many of its members came to a school board meeting wearing purple with the hope to raise awareness.
“I don’t know that we’re at a breaking point but we’ve got to be somewhere close,” said Anchorage Education Association President Tom Klaameyer.
The latest collective bargaining agreement expired at the end of June and both the union and school district are still engaged in the bargaining process.
“We would have hoped it would have already concluded but generally when both parties aren’t in agreement things last a little longer to work it out,” said Deena Bishop, ASD’s Superintendent.
Klaameyer says teachers are struggling with new programs, initiatives, state level mandates and changes to the middle school schedule. He says the demands take away a teacher’s time from the classroom.
“I’ve got veteran teachers 20 years, it’s not uncommon for them to say to me this is the most we’ve had to do. I’m at a breaking point. 'This is the worst year ever' kind of thing in that regard,” Klaameyer said.
Bishop says the additional teacher training is for the students and state and federal standards provide a lot of direction.
“Prior from my teaching time I would say absolutely as well but it is the 21st century, that is public education,” said Bishop.
AEA’s president says the ultimate goal is for both parties to work cooperatively together.