Anchorage teachers approve new contract

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska After saying 'no' last November, members of the Anchorage Education Association late Friday approved a new one-year contract offer from the Anchorage School District.

“This process has drawn out for a long time" said AEA president Tom Klaameyer, adding "while neither AEA or ASD got everything they were looking for in this contract it does improve the working and learning conditions in our public schools.”

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 previously that the contract is similar to an agreement rejected by members in November, but clarified some language to them control of their planning time and reduce administrative meetings.

The agreement keeps the salary schedule the same as it was previously.
There were no cost of living raises in the agreement, but teachers were allowed to advance in pay based on educational attainment and years of experience, according to the union.

Todd Hess, chief human resource officer for the district, said on Jan. 29th that 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 in late January.

The contract still needs to be ratified by the Anchorage School Board. The AEA said it "hopes to return to the bargaining table in April to continue to improve contract language so it provides the necessary support to enhance student learning and provide the tools and stability teachers need to educate every child."