School, unions reach tentative deal

After more than a year of negotiations the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and its labor unions reached a tentative agreement Thursday for a three-year contract.

The contract, if approved, will be retroactive to July 1, 2012 and last through June 30, 2015 and contains language changing the makeup of the district’s health care committee, annual raises based on longevity and a 2 percent salary increase each year.

The proposal also eliminates additional employee contributions for health care coverage on their spouses and children and changes the cost share of the health care contribution from a 50/50 split to the district eventually contributing 85 percent when the costs of the health care plan exceed the employee contributions.

Negotiations moved forward quickly after the school district presented an offer to the unions that followed most of an arbitrator’s recommendations after the two went into arbitration in December.

A sticking point — the makeup of the district’s health care committee — was resolved with three of the members of the committee now being appointed by the school district superintendent and any decisions issued by the committee requiring a super majority vote.

The contract still must be ratified by the unions and will be presented to the school board for approval as well. District spokeswoman Pegge Erkeneff said the contract would not go into effect until April at the earliest.

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