PALMER — About 300 academics packed a Mat-Su faculty board assembly Wednesday night time to voice frustrations over a contract stalemate amid skyrocketing well being care prices.
Many on the common assembly held at Matanuska-Susitna Borough District headquarters in Palmer have been wearing black and held yellow indicators saying “Respect=Truthful contract.”
Mat-Su academics, like their counterparts in Anchorage, are working and not using a contract. The multi-yr negotiated agreements that each districts function beneath ended June 30. Anchorage academics rejected a suggestion final week.
However there isn’t any contract to reject in Mat-Su — or room for negotiations.
The district and academics union declared an deadlock Nov. 9, in accordance with district spokeswoman Jillian Morrissey. Meaning mediation beginning late December or early January.
“There isn’t any extra coming to the desk,” Morrissey stated in an interview Thursday.
Medical insurance is on the middle of the talk as a result of it prices the district $forty million a yr, second solely to instructor salaries, officers say.
Academics need the district to “transfer towards the center” in future negotiations, Tim Walters, president of the Mat-Su Schooling Affiliation academics union, advised the board Wednesday night time.
Walters characterised the district’s present supply as academics working as onerous as they do now — or more durable — for 3 days much less pay. He additionally stated the district needs academics to pay one other $2,one hundred in annual insurance coverage premiums, plus any potential will increase subsequent yr.
District officers, nevertheless, say haven’t but calculated any value will increase. Premiums will probably be launched in spring by the Public Schooling Well being Belief, the NEA-Alaska program that gives medical insurance for Mat-Su academics.
In one other level of rivalry, the district has requested that the belief launch combination claims knowledge — a set of well being bills in classes, in accordance with info on the district’s negotiations replace net web page.
The info, the district website continues, “is NOT a reporting of well being data by (a) individual. It’s NOT a abstract of private identifiable data for you or your dependents.”
Nonetheless, a number of academics accused the district of making an attempt to get personal well being info to see if…