School board members said Monday that the challenges facing the Juneau School District are “unprecedented,” and asked for continued support from the CBJ Assembly. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

School board members said Monday that the challenges facing the Juneau School District are “unprecedented,” and asked for continued support from the CBJ Assembly. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

School district and support staff move closer to an agreement

School district and support staff move closer to an agreement

Juneau School District and Juneau Education Support Staff are one step closer to a collective bargaining agreement.

A tentative agreement ratified by JESS members over the weekend was given its first reading during Tuesday night’s school board meeting. The agreement would begin July 1 and end June 30, 2022. The current agreement between the two is set to lapse at the end of this month.

The parties tentatively agreed to a raise of 60 cents per hour per cell — a step on the district’s salary schedule — for fiscal year 2020, a 1 percent raise for the next year, and a 20 cent per cell plus 1 percent increase for fiscal year 22. Increases in monthly health insurance contributions are $25, according to the tentative agreement.

Superintendent Bridget Weiss explained the combination of cent per cell and percent increase tends to balance wage increases among experienced and newer employees.

JESS and the district began meeting in October 2018 to reach the tentative agreement, which will still need a final reading.

The tentative agreement includes a “Me Too” option, which has nothing to do with the infamous social media hashtag.

Instead the option is intended to ensure equality among the different bargaining bodies — JESS, Juneau Education Association and Juneau School Administrative Association — that negotiate separately with the district.

[The latest regarding fatal plane crash in Ketchikan]

All three unions have agreements set to expire this summer and have been engaged in talks with the district.

Specifically, the option included in the tentative agreement states JESS members would receive an increase to their wage scale up to the equivalent of the JEA and JSAA.

JESS members would also receive an increase to the employer health insurance contribution up to the equivalent dollar amount if either JEA or JSAA received an employer contribution higher than that negotiated with JESS.

Culture in the schools

Also during the school board meeting, the school board approved acceptance of gifted education materials from Sealaska Heritage Institute. SHI is a nonprofit that perpetuates and preserves Alaska Native culture, art, language and more.

The tools and supplies donated have an estimated value of $37,400, according to a letter included in the board’s meeting packet.

[Perseverance Theatre closes season with “The Underpants”]

That materials donated included $20,000 in carving and wood shop tools and supplies, $1,000 in Northwest Coast art basketry supplies, $6,000 in Northwest Coast woolen weaving supplies, $4,400 in classroom supplies, $3,000 in additional project materials, $1,500 in Northwest Coast formline art design supplies, $1,500 of books.

“It’s just one of those really great partnerships, and the materials are so helpful to us,” Weiss said. “It was really generous, and the board was excited.”

• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Man dies after being struck by truck while laying in drive-through lane near Mendenhall post office

Armando Sanchez, 38, struck during early morning hours of June 1; JPD notified of death Tuesday.

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maassen receives applause from his fellow justices and members of the Alaska Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy will be asked to pick fourth state Supreme Court justice

Applications being accepted to replace Peter Maassen, who reaches mandatory retirement age next year

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, June 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska ranked choice repeal measure wins first round of legal challenge, but trial awaits

Correction: The initial version of this article incorrectly listed Alaskans for Better… Continue reading

Juneau resident Ajah Rose Bishop, 21, suffered severe spinal injuries in a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning. (GoFundMe fundraiser photo)
Woman breaks spine in single-vehicle collision on Egan Drive early Saturday morning

21-year-old Juneau resident medivaced to Anchorage, online fundraising effort underway.

Shannan Greene (left) and Sharyn Augustine hold signs on April 27 urging residents to sign recall petitions for Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey due to their roles in a budget crisis for the current fiscal year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
School board recall petitions submitted; supporters of Saturday cruise ship ban need more signatures

Third initiative seeking to repeal default by-mail elections also has 10 days to get more signers.

Most Read