The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education looked out at a sea of red in its meeting in Homer on Monday night. Over a hundred teachers and support staff, who are seeing red over unresolved contract negotiations, wore red to the meeting and spoke out about their concerns.
Negotiations for a contract that was supposed to go into effect this school year began in February but have yet to be resolved. The school district and associations representing teachers and support staff went through an unsuccessful round of mediation and now are moving to arbitration. Dave Brighton, president of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association, says it’s been about a decade since a round of negotiations finished on time and without needing outside adjudication.
“I don’t know why it is that every time we go to the negotiations table we end up going all the way through mediation and then arbitration,” Brighton said. “I can’t remember a contract that we’ve had that didn’t go through that. I’m asking you guys to encourage the school district to come to the negotiation table to bargain.”