The Anchorage Education Association and Anchorage School District have come to a preliminary agreement on teachers’ pay.
The Anchorage teachers’ union announced a tentative agreement Friday on a one-year contract with a 3% pay increase. About 3,000 union members will vote on whether to ratify the contract later this month.
The current contract was not set to expire until next July, but the two sides came to a tentative agreement that would be in place until July of 2025.
“This is a bit unusual. We typically strive for a three-year contract,” AEA President Corey Aist said. “It almost feels like a contract extension in some ways, to the current contract.”
Aist said the union and district are hopeful that the Legislature will increase the state’s per-student funding formula, known as the Base Student Allocation.
“We’re hoping that with an increase to the BSA, we will be able to negotiate with the school district a more competitive agreement,” Aist said.
In a statement, Anchorage School District Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt called the agreement QUOTE “a historic moment.” Bryantt said the increases to wages and health benefits are the largest in over a decade.
“This tentative agreement represents our collective commitment and dedication to those on the frontlines who give students the skills they need to succeed in life,” Bryantt said in a statement.
Aist said comparatively low wages for teachers in Alaska means the district must compete for employees with school districts in the Lower 48. Aist said more than 1,150 educators have left the district since 2020.
“It’s really, really challenging. We both see that challenge. We’re trying to alleviate and come to an agreement with the resources we have in place to be fully competitive, to try and meet the needs of the school district. We’re going to need a more competitive contract. It’s time that our state Legislature and Governor help with that, we are doing our part,” Aist said.
If the union membership approves the agreement, the Anchorage School Board could vote to ratify it at their December 5th meeting.