Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Teachers drop option for contract changes


The Haines teachers’ union won’t seek additional pay or benefit increases this year.

As part of a two-year contract negotiated last year, the union had the option of re-opening discussion of compensation for the coming school year. In an interview last week, Haines Education Association president Lisa Andriesen cited two reasons for declining the option.

“People were understanding of the state not wanting to give us (more) money, and the fact that insurance costs (to employees) didn’t go up,” Andriesen said.

In a May letter to the district, Andriesen said the HEA members “understand the financial difficulties for this year and will wait until next year to look at negotiating pay and benefits.”

In the letter, Andriesen said the union’s decision was “very difficult” because “our living costs have gone up just as the district’s expenses have gone up and we too are concerned about keeping up with the cost of living. We hope that next year the borough and legislature will adequately fund education as we will be negotiating.”

Andriesen said participation in the National Education Assocation health trust kept health insurance costs stable for this year.