September 12, 2019 Collective Bargaining Update: KPBSD offer to KPEA and KPESA
Soldotna, September 12, 2019—This evening at bargaining, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) presented a new offer to the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) that offers fair salary increases and provides our employees additional money to address ongoing health care cost concerns. KPEA and KPESA offered a counter proposal to KPBSD that the District is evaluating. Links to the 9/12/19 offers are at the end of this information about the KPBSD offer to KPEA and KPESA:
- This evening, the District offered to help reduce the health care contributions of its employees by depositing $918,748 into the employees’ health care reserve (savings) account. An account controlled by the employee representatives on the health care program committee. This additional amount of money is beyond what the independent Arbitrator recommended. This deposit is $250,000 more than the District’s August 24, 2019 offer.
- This evening, the District offered to further increase its current contributions to the cost of health insurance by $3,600 per year per employee health plan member. Also not part of the Arbitrator’s recommendations, and $1,800 per year per employee health plan member more than the District’s August 24, 2019 offer. This portion of the District’s health care offer is an additional $859,186 more than the District’s August 24, 2019 offer.
- The Arbitrator, after two days of hearings and hundreds of pages of exhibits, concluded, “The evidence is irrefutable that it is costing [the District] more to provide health care coverage…than virtually all of the other comparable Districts.”
- The Arbitrator also recognized that the District’s employees are paying higher costs than those comparable Districts as well. She concluded that “This is reflective of numerous factors, not limited to the levels of coverage, the utilization of benefits, age of the workforce, access to care, and importantly, the inability to spread costs and risk over a larger population.” The District is not a contributing factor to the employees’ higher medical costs.
- This evening, the District’s offer continued to follow the recommendations of the independent Arbitrator by increasing the KPEA and KPESA salary schedules by 3.5% over the FY19-FY21 duration of the Negotiated Agreement.
- In addition, the District’s offer continued the Arbitrator’s recommendation that employees without access to higher salary schedule steps or the availability of a new column, receive up to an additional 3.5% salary increase over those fiscal years honoring their longevity with the District.
- The salary schedule increases are in addition to automatic step increases built into those schedules for eligible employees. Those increases average 4.98% per year for KPESA, and 2.67% per year for KPEA.
- Only the District, through its elected Board of Education, can balance District’s revenues and expenditures to ensure that the highest quality educational programs are provided. Over the years, heart-wrenching decisions have been made by the Board to close schools and eliminate positions, among other things, to balance the District’s budget. The Board will be facing those decisions again in this next budget cycle.
Following the 9/12/19 District offer, KPEA and KPESA presented a counter offer that the District is evaluating.
- KPBSD Package Proposal to KPEA on 9/12/2019 (PDF)
- KPBSD Package Proposal to KPESA on 9/12/2019 (PDF)
- Supporting Additional Information 9/12/2019 (PDF)
- KPEA and KPESA Proposal to KPBSD on 9/12/2019 (PDF)
- Video: 9/12/19, Collective Bargaining, 5:30 PM – 9:10 PM