David Brighton

        Educators on the Kenai Peninsula have approved the new contract their negotiators hammered out with the school district on September 17.

The executive boards of both the Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association certified the results of ratification votes by the rank-and-file.

KPEA and KPESA did not release vote totals for the internal elections, but claim that members of both associations approved the contracts by "overwhelming margins.

        Everyone is back in school after negotiators avoided a strike by educators in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President David Brighton said the two sides were finally able to overcome issues over health care costs.

“I think it was a very good compromise," he said. "This addresses the rising cost of health care that had employees so nervous and I think that this moves us forward in the right direction.”

Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

UPDATE  Sept. 12: Negotiating teams for the district and unions met the evening of Sept. 12. The meeting was not announced in advance due to safety concerns. The session ended with the associations presenting the district with a counter offer. The district is expected to respond by the end of the day Sept. 13.

Monday night the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education held their last meeting before classes resume later this month.
The school board was reminded by David Brighton of the teachers union, that not everything was quite ready.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly approved with unanimous consent last week a resolution supporting the accelerated passage of the education bill in the Alaska State Legislature this year.

“What that is, we’re going to this resolution, if it passes, to the legislators saying, ‘Hey, if you can get us early funding in so we don’t have to lay teachers off, or pink slip teachers, before the budget process, it would be a great help to us,” said Assemblyman Brent Hibbert.