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School board to consider contract proposal

KENAI (AP) — Two Alaska school employee associations have proposed a new contract to the district that would increase teacher salaries and health insurance, officials said.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education is expected to come to an agreement with the associations Monday, The Peninsula Clarion reported Saturday.

Kenai Peninsula Education Association, Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association and the school district met Thursday to discuss the proposed employee contract, but no agreement was made, officials said.

"We spoke a lot about specific budget line items, and the associations put an offer across the table that the district is considering," said David Brighton, president of the Kenai Peninsula Education Association.

The proposed contract cost would deplete the unassigned $3.9 million general fund balance savings and would still require additional funds, district officials said.

"A fair and reasonable cost to the employees also require a fair and reasonable cost (to) the district," school district liaison Pegge Erkeneff said.

The school district and associations have stalled contract negotiation progress for more than a year because of rising health care costs, officials said.

School employees voted in May to strike if contract negotiations became stagnant. Last month, a potential strike date was announced for Sept. 16, but it does not guarantee a strike.

The associations must give a 72-hour advance strike notice to the district superintendent, the newspaper reported. The superintendent would then notify staff, parents, community partners, contractors and others.