At a special meeting Thursday evening, the Juneau School District Board of Education approved an agreement made in January with the Juneau Education Association to forge a new two-year contract with teachers. JEA ratified the same agreement Wednesday.
The board discussed the proposed contract in executive session Thursday before voting to approve it, after months of contentious talks with the teachers union.
“We’ll have a lot less executive sessions because a lot of them were around the contracts,” board Vice President Sean O’Brien said after the meeting.
According to a district news release, highlights of the new agreement include:
• Salary increase: Funds from a health trust set aside will be shifted from the trust to the salary schedule, adding $1,447 per teacher. In addition, the salary schedule will increase by 1.5 percent effective Jan. 10 of the current year and an additional 1 percent for the next school year. This increase is in addition to step and column increases teachers earn for additional experience and education for both years.
• Health insurance: The district’s contribution to teachers’ health insurance will increase by $10 per month for the current year and an additional $50 per month next year.
• Professional development set aside: The amount set aside for a professional leave account will increase from $50 per teacher to $70 per teacher each year. This fund is managed by a committee of teachers and administrators.
• Personal leave: Teachers will have fewer personal leave days available, but more of those days are paid leave.
The agreement affects the current school year and the next school year. Per the new contract, this school year’s additional employee costs to the district will be $400,000, the release stated.
The estimated additional costs to the district for next year are $890,000 for the pay increases of JEA members and $618,000 for those of others.
This is a developing story. Please see the Sunday edition of the Juneau Empire for more information.