Teachers who belong to the Ketchikan Education Association voted last week to ratify a tentative three-year teacher-contract agreement between the district and KEA. Now it’s up to the Ketchikan School Board.
The board meets on Thursday, and the tentative agreement is the only action item listed. An executive session to talk about the proposed contract is scheduled, with “possible action immediately following.”
The tentative agreement provides annual 2-percent raises for each year of the contract, and changes to the health insurance program. The first year of the new contract would be retroactive to the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers in Ketchikan have been working on an expired contract since spring of 2017.
Contract negotiations have been ongoing for about two years, and became contentious. This summer, both sides declared an impasse and arbitration was scheduled for late December.
In an email following the KEA vote, union vice-president Sarah Campbell writes that the October local election led to changes on the school board, and those changes led to the compromise agreement teachers ratified.
An estimated cost to the district for the first year of the contract was $950,000. If the board votes Thursday to approve the tentative agreement, the district will ask the Ketchikan Gateway Borough for help funding that extra cost.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. in borough assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.
The next Ketchikan School Board meeting is a special meeting on Dec. 4th for the board to hear the full report from an independent investigator. That investigation looked into the district’s actions related to reports of sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
This report has been edited to correct the day of the meeting. It was changed to Thursday due to a lack of a quorum on Wednesday.