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District and teachers' union reach tentative agreement


The Anchorage School District and the Anchorage Education Association have reached a tentative agreement that extends through June 30, 2013. The current contract expires on June 30.

"I am very pleased that the negotiations were successful and I am hopeful that both the teachers and board will ratify this three year agreement so we can end the school year on a positive note. It will be in everyone's best interest to have this settled so we can immediately begin planning for the 2010-11 school year and the challenges ahead," said Superintendent Carol Comeau. "I really appreciate the professionalism of both teams throughout these negotiations, as well as the teachers who testified at last week's school board meeting."

"I believe the proposal is a good one and we are recommending that members ratify the tentative agreement," said AEA President Jim Lepley. "Although it is not everything we wanted and not everything we think teachers deserve, we do feel it is fair given the economic climate."

The three-year tentative agreement includes the following highlights.

Salary increases

$1,800 in year one for a full-time teacher
2 percent in year two
3 percent in year three

District health insurance contribution

$1,180 in year one
$1,300 in year two
$1,385 in year three

Student performance

In the first year of the contract, a joint committee will be established to develop recommendations for innovations to improve school performance. The committee will present recommendations to the superintendent by June 1, 2011 for consideration.

Both sides began negotiating in early December. By law, districts can enter into labor contracts with a maximum three-year duration. A ratification vote is scheduled for the union's 3,500 members on May 6. If approved, the Anchorage School Board must adopt the agreement, which is currently scheduled for the board's May 24 meeting.
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