Mat-Su teachers near contract agreement

Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2002

WASILLA (AP) -- With less than a week to go before the start of school in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the district and teachers have reached a tentative agreement.

The bargaining team for the 900-member Mat-Su Education Association reached a one-year agreement, district spokeswoman Kim Floyd said. The teachers voted earlier this year to support a strike.

The district has offered teachers a 3 percent salary increase overall and a $1,614 longevity bonus for educators at the top of the pay scale.

Teacher salaries would range from about $35,000 to $66,000 a year.

Interim schools Superintendent Bob Doyle described it as a good offer that gives something to teachers at all levels. He said he was disappointed, however, that the proposed contract is for one year instead of three.

Even if the contract is ratified, the district would likely need to start negotiating for next year as early as this October, he said.

The agreement would add about $3.4 million in teacher salary and benefit costs, according to district estimates. It still needs approval from the union membership and the Mat-Su School Board, Doyle said.

MSEA president Barbara Morris did not return calls for comment.

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