Letter to the Editor: Educator associations need to step up and compromise

What do the members of the KPEA need to do?

As a teacher of 21 years, I feel it is time to weigh in on the potential strike and the possible results.

Seems this crisis is a two-way street. Alaska is in its own recession and there seems to be no give other than to add more taxation onto the back of the struggling taxpayers.

Perhaps the KPEA could recommend places to trim 10% from the annual budget, which is less than the amount of loss in number of students by the district over the recent decade (a drop from in enrollment from 9,591 to 8,647 pupils).

I hear all these statements the school district needs to do … What do the members of the KPEA need to do?

The district has offered increase to its current contributions to the cost of health insurance by $3,600 per year per employee health plan member. Seems original posts by the KPEA were that health insurance coverage was inadequate.

WHY BRING IN AN ARBITRATOR and then oppose their recommendations?

The arbitrator stated the evidence is irrefutable that it is costing [the District] more to provide health care coverage than virtually all of the other comparable Districts. Yes, he also stated the cost of health care in this area is higher. The district has since increased it by $919,000. The KPEA says we’ll take it AND STRIKE.

The arbitrator recommended a 3.5% salary increase which the district said YES to. The KPEA says strike. BTW, this is in addition to the automatic 2.67% the teachers are getting annually.

The district has a limited amount of tax dollars to fund education. That is monies out of the pocket of taxpayers. I’m waiting for my Social Security to go up 3.5% and 2.67% but dream on.

In closing, YES I SUPPORT our teachers and the jobs they do, but perhaps they are being overdemanding! Perhaps they too need to accept the INDEPENDENT arbitrator who came in to help divert this crisis.

— Robb Geesen, Kenai

More in Opinion

Gov. Mike Dunleavy discusses his veto of a wide-ranging education bill during a press conference March 16 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Governor, please pay more attention to Alaskans

Our governor has been a busy guy on big issues.

A roll of “I voted” stickers sit at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Juneau in 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strengthening democracy: Native vote partners to boost voter registration

GOTNV and VPC are partnering to send over 4,000 voter registration applications this month to addresses and P.O. boxes all over Alaska

Priya Helweg is the acting regional director and executive officer for the Region 10 Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Happy Pride Month

This month is dedicated to acknowledging and uplifting the voices and experiences of the LGBTQI+ community

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30.
Opinion: Trump’s new fixers

Fixers from Alaska and elsewhere step in after guilty verdict

Ballot booths are set up inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Perspective from an election worker

Here is what I know about our Kenai Peninsula Borough election system

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting transgender rights. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The imaginary transgender sports crisis

House Bill 183 is a right-wing solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now and never will.

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Session ends with budget, dividend and bills passed

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Listen to PAs; support Senate Bill 115: Modernizing PA Practice in Alaska

Health care is rapidly evolving, demanding a more flexible and responsive system

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Opinion: Hilcorp Alaska: Powering Southcentral Alaska — past, present and future

Hilcorp Alaska has and will continue to fully develop our Cook Inlet basin leasehold

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024 (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Collegiality matters

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Juneau Empire file photo
Larry Persily.
Opinion: Alaska might as well embrace the past

The governor, legislators, municipal officials and business leaders are worried that the Railbelt will run short of natural gas before the end of the decade