Support association, school district at impasse

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Friday, April 17, 2015 8:30pm
  • News

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association have reached an impasse in collective bargaining negotiations.

Support Association President Patty Sirois said the two groups will move into a mediation process, but prefers not to comment further at this time.

The support association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Association, also at an impasse with the school district, have been jointly conducting contract discussions with the school district’s team since February.

The Seattle office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) will appoint a mediator for continuing negotiations, said school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff.

From the school district’s perspective the 2015 negotiations with the associations have focused on teacher and support staff salaries and health care, Erkeneff said. The school district is proposing a one-year contract, she said.

The school district team made the initial request for a mediator Wednesday, and the support staff association and teachers association agreed later that afternoon that a mediator is needed to move forward, Erkeneff said.

During mediation meetings, the two teams will gather in separate rooms and the hired mediator will relay information between the two groups to further develop the contracts and reach an agreement, KPEA spokesperson Matt Fischer in a previous Clarion interview.

If an agreement cannot be reached with a mediator, the teams will move into an arbitration process, which is when a third party is hired to act as an advisory judge, also through the mediation and conciliation service, Erkeneff said in previous interview.

The contracts with the teachers association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association, which is also in negotiations with the school district, end on June 30, 2015. If negotiated agreements have not been reached by July 1, 2015, the current contracts will still apply.

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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