Anchorage teachers union approves new contract

Anchorage teachers have approved a new contract. The Anchorage Education Association, the union that represents Anchorage teachers, announced Monday that members voted to approve the three-year contract agreement reached between the union and the Anchorage School District. The agreement was reached last month. The parties had been negotiating since April.

The agreement includes health benefit increases and two percent salary raises in the second and third years. It also contains language allowing for more input from teachers in lesson plans and scheduling. The contract starts retroactively on July of this year, meaning that policy changes will begin immediately, with salary increases going into effect next school year.

Before this contract, Anchorage teachers were operating on a one-year contract that expired in July. AEA president Tom Klaameyer says that the transition to a three-year contract will help bring stability to the teachers after months of uncertainty.

“Teachers spend enough time not only teaching, but prepping and assessing and all that sort of thing — on evenings and weekends,” Klaameyer said. “But then to also be attending opening bargaining sessions and be attending the school board and having to fight for what most people think that educators deserve anyway… that’s taxing.”

The results were certified by the AEA today, and will move on to the Anchorage School Board for a final vote. The board is scheduled to vote on the agreement during their next meeting on Monday, December 10th.