ASD teachers to vote on contract next month

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Anchorage Education Association and Anchorage School District signed a tentative agreement for employees on Friday night.

A previous contract expired June 30th, but teachers had been working under what's legally known as "dynamic status quo," which means some of their previous contract's conditions were still in place.

Tom Klaameyer, AEA president, said the contract is similar to an agreement presented to members in November, but clarifies parts of it.

"We worked to clarify some language to strengthen protection for our members to give them control of their planning time, reduce administrative meetings, those sorts of things," Klaameyer said.

The agreement keeps the salary schedule the same as it was previously.

"The salary schedule remained exactly the same, the teachers were allowed to advance based on educational attainment and years of experience," Klaameyer said. "The district actually provided that at the beginning of the year despite not having a contract, but there was no increase for cost of living."

Todd Hess, chief human resource officer for the district, said teachers who have been with the district for a year received a 2 percent increase.

"Prior to the tentative agreement, we allowed for experience salary increases for our teachers. We also allowed for salary increases for people that got additional education and training. Those were already in place even though the contract expired, we had gone ahead and done that," Hess said.

AEA members will vote on the agreement from February 13 - 16.

If the union approves the agreement, the Anchorage School Board will vote on it at the board's Feb. 20 meeting.

If either side rejects the agreement, it will go into mediation and possibly arbitration, if mediation comes to an impasse.

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