The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, and the unions representing the local teachers and support staff met in collective bargaining last week. We spoke to LaDawn Druce President of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association who outlined how the associations see the current status of the labor talks…
Druce: “From our point of view, it’s still looking at restructuring of the health care committee that the district brought as a proposal that was beyond the arbitrator’s awarded opinion, something new. So we’ve not had a great deal of time to look at that and work with it so to speak in bargaining . But last Tuesday was, by all accounts, a very good bargaining session in terms of the length, because both sides were willing to be there, and commit to that time and work together in that setting to continue to try to come up with a proposal that the associations felt like they could take back to the membership for a ratification vote.”
Druce said that in her opinion, how the health care contributions are calculated is still a sticking point..
Druce: “It’s right now, in the district’s language, that their committee members will look and come up with the number that they this is appropriate for the year, if you will, to establish it for the coming year. Then the members of our committee will look at it and come up with a number, but somehow both groups need to decide what that number is. Our proposal, prior to that, was based on a formula of a four-year average, past average. To say, well trends and past averages would suggest that we should set the number at this rate going forward. The district has been hesitant to commit to a rate or a formula, if you will, for the reason that I can only determine is to be establishing it however they feel is necessary.”