Soldotna, August 15, 2019—The school district met with the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) for several hours on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, for collective bargaining. A tentative agreement was not reached.
On August 13, 2019, the District proposed increasing its portion of the cap contribution to the employee cost of the health care plan by $250 month, or $3,000 per member (employee), per year.
The District agreed to pay $668,748 in a lump sum to the employee’s health insurance reserve account to return it to the minimum required balance of $750,000. This will eliminate the need for individual employees to repay $618 per employee during the FY20 school year.
During bargaining in May, KPEA and KPESA proposed the elimination of the Traditional Health Care Plan, and to migrate everyone to one High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). The District offered to change its current self-funded High Deductible Health Plan’s benefit and coverage structure to mirror either the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Districts’ Plan B or Plan C. It would be the Associations’ choice.
The salary offer is 0.5% in FY19 (for current employees); 1% in FY20; and 2% in FY21. These increases are in addition to the salary increases employees receive for step movement on their respective salary schedules.
The Associations rejected the District proposal, and made a new offer to the District. A cost analysis of their health care offer is needed, and the District contacted its health plan broker to work with the actuary to provide that detailed examination of the Associations proposal. The time frame turnaround for the analysis is not yet known.
The District continues to be asked if there will be a strike.
If the unions decide to call a strike, they are required to provide the Superintendent of Schools with 72-hour notice prior to a work stoppage. The Superintendent of Schools will immediately notify all staff, parents, community partners, contractors, etc. of the start date of the strike. A media release will be issued.