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District, unions continue talks

Posted: March 3, 2012 - 9:49pm

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Kenai Peninsula Education Association on Friday reached a tentative agreement on three sections of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The agreement keeps the current language of the CBA for three sections, including Section 446, due process; Section 463, subcontracting; and Section 560 conformity to law.

Both sides presented proposals Friday during a negotiation session at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk Assessment building in Soldotna. Negotiations have been ongoing since the beginning of the year. The Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association is still negotiating terms with the district and no agreement between the two has yet been reached.

The district’s Friday proposal to KPEA addressed three sections — Section 550, which pertains to the association fee, would remain status quo. The current contract states “employees represented by the bargaining unit shall not be required to join KPEA; however, all employees who choose not to join KPEA shall be required to pay as condition of employment a representation fee to KPEA.” The annual representation fee for non-members is $863, while KPEA members pay $1,152, KPEA President LaDawn Druce said in an earlier interview.

The second section of the proposal was to keep Section 343, donation of sick leave, status quo. In the current contract, “members shall be allowed to donate sick leave to and receive sick leave from leave eligible members.” The most a person can receive or donate is 20 days, according to the contract. In an earlier proposal by the district, that number was changed to 10 days, but it was not agreed upon.

The third component of the district’s offer proposed a change for Section 121, extracurricular salary schedule.

“The language is status quo, but we’ve added 1 percent to each of the ranges,” KPBSD representative Sean Dusek said. 

KPEA also introduced proposals of its own. The union adjusted its proposal for Section 105, salary schedule. The new proposal calls for an increase in each cell of 2.8 percent to account for inflation, which is based on the cost of living, which is the consumer price index, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor for the Anchorage area in June, with an additional 3 percent added to each cell on the salary schedule, and a step in the salary schedule. The U.S. Department of Labor produces an inflation estimate twice a year, in June and January.

KPEA’s original proposal called for a 5 percent increase to each cell of the schedule, in addition to 3.2 percent CPI, which represents the January CPI, along with a step in the salary schedule.

The union also re-proposed its 90/10 health care split to the district. The district estimates each qualified employee’s health care costs will be $1,600. Under KPEA’s proposal, the district would pay $1,440, while the employee would pay $160.

KPEA presented a package of two sections of the contract that have a sunset of March 26. The package includes Section 345, unpaid leave of absence and Section 110, salary conditions. The proposal for unpaid leave of absence would approve the district’s proposal, which means unpaid leave would not be granted if a teacher was seeking K-12 employment in other states. The current contract states, “A teacher may, upon written request to the superintendent and with approval from the School Board, be granted an unpaid leave of absence for illness, professional study, or for personal reasons.”

“We’re tying this to 110 (salary conditions),” KPEA representative Joe Rizzo said. “Because by essentially agreeing to this, we are giving up a benefit that an employee could go and try another job.”

The district’s proposal would also cut short leave of two weeks to six days. In return, KPEA’s proposal for the salary conditions section, says that credits or continuing education credits (CEU’s) earned after initial placement on the salary schedule will be evaluated by the Human Resources Department, and must qualify under at least one of the following:

n Taken as part of a completed advance degree;

n Relate to an immediate assignment;

n Approved by the Department of Education and Early Development.

The union’s proposal also says that CEUs will not be awarded for clinics or workshops associated with offerings from the KPBSD Professional Development Department that occur during the school day or employee receives a stipend for.

The next negotiation session is scheduled for March 26 at the 4D building in Soldotna.

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robert white
378
Points
robert white 03/04/12 - 11:31 am
1
2
raise

With 66% of the general fund toward a failed education system they got some nerve asking for a raise!!! Unions are destroying the american dream, our education system, and our wallets!

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 03/04/12 - 12:08 pm
0
0
You will Never See It Again.

Sun. 3/4/12 I really really Support the Union Negoiations Teams.

Just a polite reminder : Be very careful as to what you are willing to Give Up on a Temporary Basis.
History has PROVEN that once You Give Up Your Negotiated Rights You will NEVER See Those Rights Again.

Upper Management will attempt to convince You that these issues are only temporary & your rights will be re-instated at a later date. Don't Believe One Word of That !
You Give It Up then You will NEVER See It Again.

ie: Many years ago a promise was made to re-instate & hire back dozens of School Custodians there were Laid Off during a Real Crisis & Management stated that was only Temporary.
10 years later & those Custodian Vacancies STILL have not been filled leaving the School Custodians seriously Under-Staffed.

SPW "Airborne"

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 03/04/12 - 01:03 pm
0
1
Governor Walker (R) Wisc

Pay particular attention to what has happened in Wisconsin. The public employees union and the public educators union were arbitrarily stripped of nearly all collective bargaining rights. There was no negotiation, not talks, thier rights were legislated away. Gone is the unions right to seniority, to bargain on safety, hours of work, job advancement and pay can only be NEGOTIATED to the cost of living. That doesn't mean they will get that raise, that means they CAN negotiate for it. They no longer negotiate benefits or sick leave. In addition the unions must re-certify annually. All though unlikely, this could happen here.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 03/04/12 - 02:55 pm
0
0
Fee Payer Issue

Kenai-Kid, Well I'll be ! Something we can AGREE upon !
The School Dist has already attempted to remove one of the most Basic Union Rights. The Right to have Non-Union Fee Payers pay their fare share & make that a "Condition of Employment" meaning IF Ya don't pay your fair share then You can be terminated. Without that simple paragraph in the Negotiated Agreement all Collective Bargaining is Null & Void & without any authority.That applies to ALL Unions
& Yes that is exactly where Wisconsin Gov. & The Right to Work for LESS Group began their Anti-Union War.

Now one would want to believe That could NEVER HAPPEN in ALASKA. It already has & it's being Negotiated at this moment. All Union Employees really need to Pay Attention to the School Dist Negotiation that are Happening Right Now.

Proud Member of the Kenai Peninsula Education Support
Asso. for over 22 years ( All Hourly Paid Employees)

SPW in Sloooooowdotna

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 03/04/12 - 03:11 pm
0
0
A Y P

Mr White, Please make the time to refer to the School Dist Web Site & look up the issue of "Annual Yearly Progess" A Y P & that will PROVE TO YOU that Our School Dist scores Above State & National Standards & has done so for years.
Yes Our Teachers & Support Staff have More than Earned a Raise but they are only negotiating for a COLA Cost of Living Adjustment.
SPW

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 03/04/12 - 04:36 pm
1
1
Robert White

Unions actually have afforded you the American dream. Public Unions on the other hand are open to more scrutiny than the private unions as we the people are the employers.

Close minded interpretation of unions are what is destroying the American Dream. Unions eliminate gray area in the workplace and make the rules of employment more black and white. It's not simply a matter of wages. Most workplace safety regulations have their roots in collective bargaining. Hours of work, the forty hour work week, sick leave, unemployment insurance, holiday pay, overtime pay, family medical leave, workers compensation and employer health insurance benefits all are rooted in collective bargaining.

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 03/05/12 - 01:01 pm
0
0
SPW Review:

The union is negotiating more than COLA as you stated in your post. The total raise as being negotiated by the KPEA is 5.8% the first year. As quoted from the above story:

"The new proposal calls for an increase in each cell of 2.8 percent to account for inflation, which is based on the cost of living, which is the consumer price index, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor for the Anchorage area in June, with an additional 3 percent added to each cell on the salary schedule..."

Did I read that wrong or have I misinterpreted the meaning of the above statement?

As for you and I agreeing ... On these blogs, that is not necessarily my objective. To present the facts as I have come to understand them through using the tools afforded me as a result of the information age so others may form an opinion of there own should be the point! I normally try to present the sources of my information so the reader of my posts can sort through my information and further support or present other sources to discredit my facts. I try to be as objective as possible, but sometimes human nature prevents that! If we happen to share a like idea or philosophy on a particular subject, wonderful. However, if I gain knowledge or share knowledge with others, even better! As Sir Francis Bacon said "Knowledge is power."

JRK
0
Points
JRK 03/07/12 - 12:15 pm
0
0
Conflict? what conflict??

Retired teacher elected to the Assembly or School Board making decision on pay/benefits for teachers!
What could go wrong?

Government Unions are now paid 150% of their counterparts in the private sector. When is enough, enough?

http://reason.org/news/show/public-sector-private-sector-salary

kenai_kid
222
Points
kenai_kid 03/10/12 - 04:18 pm
0
0
JRK some quotes from your link

"As the report notes, it is difficult to do a real "apples-to-apples" comparison of public and private sector compensation because public sector job descriptions and duties may be very different from those in the private sector, and vice versa, so oftentimes there are no good positions to compare to in the other sector."

"While the recent study from the Center for State & Local Government Excellence and the National Institute on Retirement Security comparing public sector and private sector compensation levels correctly notes that aggregate comparisons of average public and private wages and benefits can be misleading, its conclusion that state and local government employees are undercompensated, compared to private-sector employees, is suspect at best."

And this misleading statement:
" The analysis ignores the value of virtually ironclad job security and certainty of pension benefits, features that are notably absent in the private sector." That job security and pension benefits once existed in the private sector. WE let it slip away from us and those same benefits become fewer and fewer as union membership decreases.

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