Juneau School District and teachers union reach tentative agreement

Juneau teachers
Juneau Education Association members applaud at a school board meeting on April 11, 2023. (Photo by Katie Anastas/KTOO)

The Juneau School District and its teachers union reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement Friday night.

“It’s been a big relief for both sides,” said Juneau Education Association President Chris Heidemann.

The teachers’ previous contract expired in June 2022, and the union declared an impasse with the district in January. One major concern for the union was the district’s proposed cuts to monthly contributions to health premiums.

Heidemann said the details of the tentative agreement will be made public once it’s sent to union members later this week. Then, members will vote on whether to ratify it.

“We feel like there are enough wins in this contract that members should get a chance to voice their opinions on it,” Heidemann said.

Last week, the Juneau Education Association directed teachers to work only during paid hours and not take on any extra duties before and after school.

“I’m pretty convinced that that pressure was part of the reason why we were able to move to a tentative settlement so quickly,” Heidemann said.

Superintendent Bridget Weiss said she hopes this helps teachers enter the summer with a sense of closure and higher morale.

“We were highly motivated, like the union was, to get this to this point,” Weiss said. “We really value the work that teachers have done, in particular over the last few years.”

Once union members ratify the contract, a school board vote will follow.

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