School district, unions begin negotiations

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Monday, February 2, 2015 10:57pm
  • News

Next week the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will enter the 2015 collective bargain negotiations with school district teachers and support staff.

The opening meeting between negotiating teams from the district administration, Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association will be Feb. 9 at 11:00 a.m. in the 4D Professional Building conference room in Soldotna.

It will be the first of a series of discussions that will determine contracts for school district support staff and educators for the next three years starting July 1, said school district spokeswoman Pegge Erkeneff.

At the initial meeting, the three groups will decide the “ground rules” for this round of negotiations including professionalism and expectations, Erkeneff said. Initial offers will also be exchanged, she said.

The education association and the support association may request to conduct meetings with the school district separately, Erkeneff said. Recently the two organizations have been asking to hold joint discussions, because they are negotiating similar topics, she said.

There are several subjects that may come up for discussion including compensation, work environment, wages, benefits and personal leave, staff assignments, and health care, Erkeneff said.

Education association spokesperson Matt Fischer said the initial offer from the school district this year may be interesting. The school district’s administrative staff has changed and for the first time a spokesperson, Saul Friedman, an attorney, has been hired for the district negotiating team, he said.

The school district’s negotiating team also includes Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Dave Jones, Director of Secondary Education John O’Brien, Director of Human Resources Joann Riener, Erkeneff said. Interim Superintendent Sean Dusek will not be involved in the process, she said.

“It is not yet determined if the meetings will be open to the public,” Erkeneff said. “That is something that will be mutually agreed on by the three negotiating teams.”

No minutes of the meetings will be posted publicly, Erkeneff said. The public will be able to submit written or verbal commentary to the Board of Education at scheduled meetings or on the school district website through out the entire process, she said.

Fischer said he hopes the meetings are open to the public. Not only does this increase understanding of the process but also encourages accountability, he said.

Each round of negotiations does not necessarily result in an overhaul of the contracts, Erkeneff said. Throughout the discussions, any sections in the education association contract or any articles in the support association contract up for revision are labeled as a “Tentative Agreement,” she said.

Once the agreements have been resolved, both sides revise and ratify their official contracts and the Board of Education must vote whether or not to accept the school district’s finalized contract, Erkeneff said. The school district’s proposals during the negotiations are a combination of assessing the “general fund balance, next year’s deficit, fiscal reality and compensating our teachers who work really, really hard,” Erkeneff said.

“The district always looks at how to be fiscally responsible,” Erkeneff said.


Reach Kelly Sullivan at

More in News

Alaska Rep. David Eastman, a Republican from Wasilla, sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. Alaska lawmakers are discussing whether to sanction Eastman who is also a member of the Oath Keepers far-right paramilitary organization according to the Anchorage Daily News. Eastman, who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, confirmed with the Associated Press, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, that he joined the Oath Keepers a little over 12 years ago, “along with 38,000 others who have committed to honoring oaths we have taken.” (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
State lawmaker could be sanctioned over Oath Keeper ties

Eastman was identified as a “life member” of the Oath Keepers last year

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
As cases surge, public health officials contemplate how to live with virus

Contact tracing and data collection will have to be reworked if COVID is here to stay

Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone can be seen on this map provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Image via
Soldotna approves filing of EEZ lawsuit brief

The lawsuit seeks to reopen commercial salmon fishing in the Upper Cook Inlet Exclusive Economic Zone

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney, bottom left, spoke to UA students in a virtual forum on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and was joined by several UA administrators including UA Southeast President Karen Carey, bottom left, and UA Anchorage Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz, top left. At top right, an American Sign Language professional provides translation services. (Screenshot)
UA President: University has turned a corner on funding

System sees modest increase in budget for first time in years

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, spoke to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor’s optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers welcome tone change in governor’s address

With caveats on financials, legislators optimistic about working together

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID deaths, hospitalizations climb statewide

The total number of statewide COVID deaths is nearly equivalent to the population of Funny River.

A fisher holds a reel on the Kenai River near Soldotna on June 30, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Restrictions on sport fishing announced

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced summer sport fishing regulations Wednesday

Community agencies administer social services to those in need during the Project Homeless Connect event Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘It’s nice to be able to help folks’

Project Homeless Connect offers services, supplies to those experiencing housing instability

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce attends the March 2, 2021, borough assembly meeting at the Betty J. Glick Assembly Chambers at the Borough Administration Building in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Former talk-show host to manage Pierce gubernatorial campaign

Jake Thompson is a former host of KSRM’s Tall, Dark and Handsome Show and Sound-off talk-show

Most Read