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Mat-Su School Board approves MSEA teacher contract

Mat-Su Education Association teachers have been working without a contract for the past 18 months
Hundreds of teachers and support staff rally at the Mat-Su Borough School Board meeting...
Hundreds of teachers and support staff rally at the Mat-Su Borough School Board meeting Wednesday Dec. 4. (KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 9:08 AM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) -After more than a year and a half of negotiations, many teachers in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District have a new contract.

On Wednesday night, the school board members voted 5-1 to ratify the contract with the Mat-Su Education Association (MSEA), with Ole Larson voting against the ratification.

The three-year contract is retroactive to last year and includes a two-percent increase each year.

MSEA president Diane Shibe told the board members their vote showed how much they value teachers and staff around the district.

“You cannot compensate educators for their true value but you can compensate them for their work,” Shibe said.

The pay increase for staff will cost the district $19.5 million each year.

The district’s new superintendent, Randy Trani, gave a presentation on how the district needs to balance its revenue and expenditures. He said the district needs to address revenue shortfall but also increase student achievement.

Several ways to do that is to create efficiencies—like revaluating healthcare and curriculum costs—as well as change programs to save money and short-term cuts.

“I choose the cuts that impact kids the least, recognizing that every single thing that we do in the district is there to support kids,” Trani said.

MSEA represents about 1,200 teachers in 44 schools.

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