Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2007

Anchorage teachers to vote on contract

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ANCHORAGE - Teachers in Anchorage are set to vote on a proposed new contract today

Two previous proposals have been rejected by members of the Anchorage Education Association, which represents 3,500 teachers, school psychologists, librarians, nurses and others. An outcome is expected by tonight

Longtime teacher Geno diCervo said he expects that colleagues at his school, Alpenglow Elementary, will vote for the labor deal.

"Everything can always be better," diCervo said. "But it's way better than the first and second (offers). They didn't just move money around. There's new money."

The proposal includes raises and a $1,100 bonus this year. Bargaining teams agreed on the deal after a week of negotiations.

A strike is expected to be taken if the contract is rejected.

Teachers have been without a contract since July 1.

The Anchorage School District would use money from its budget reserves and try to get more state money to pay for the increases, said Superintendent Carol Comeau.

Army hunts for troop housing in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for housing in Fairbanks for soldiers based at Fort Wainwright.

"We're looking for some nice units," said Veronica Hiriams with the corps' real estate office.

In its second effort in nine months, the Army is seeking 50 units within commuting distance of Fort Wainwright.

Almost any kind of house will do, except log cabins, mobile homes and trailers, but the preference is three and four-bedroom homes.

"They want the bigger units for the soldiers that are coming home," Hiriams said.

The Army stepped up the housing search to prepare for the return of soldiers from Iraq. It has signed leases on 100 properties since July.

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