FAIRBANKS — Educators and education administrators alike expressed satisfaction with the ratification of a teachers contract for the three school years of 2013-2016 by Fairbanks Education Association members Tuesday evening.
“FEA is pleased to have worked so collaboratively with the school district,” said Tammy Smith, FEA president.
“This contract promotes increased student achievement and professional leadership, and teachers are happy to have settled a contract prior to the end of the year,” Smith added.
The sentiments were echoed by Gayle Pierce, labor relations director for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.
“It was a good agreement for both sides,” Pierce said.
“The extra half hour added (one work day a week) that the FEA proposed — that time is so important for new standards, new evaluations and student assessments, and student contact,” Pierce said.
Contract talks between the school district and FEA began in mid-March, and after reaching an impasse at the end of April went into mediation with negotiator Brian Jarrett.
A tentative labor agreement was reached two weeks later between teachers and the school board.
The contract terms are for a 1.4 percent pay increase for the 2013-14 school year and a $750 stipend for teachers who are ineligible for step increases. That raise would be followed by increases of 1.25 percent and 1.75 percent in the following two years, respectively.
The agreement also would extend the teacher workday by a half-hour one day per week.
Contact staff writer Mary Beth Smetzer at 459-7546.