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School District and Principals’ Association reach successful tentative labor agreement

Negotiating teams for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and the Fairbanks Principals’ Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new 3-year contract.


“The strong relationship between the district and the principals brought forth respectful dialogue that allowed us to work through the proposed contract changes. I am proud of the hard work from both teams,” said Ivory McDaniel, director of labor relations and appointed chief spokesperson for the district.


Ratification of the contract is the next step in finalizing the contract negotiations. The new contract is scheduled for ratification by FPA membership on April 8 and will go before the Board of Education for consideration on April 16. Three months are remaining on the current collective bargaining agreement and once ratified the new contract will be in effect July 2019 through June 2022.


“We are satisfied with the outcome of the negotiation. I appreciate the professional tone of negotiations from all parties involved,” said Dave Dershin, Randy Smith Middle School principal and appointed chief spokesperson for FPA. “People on both sides of the table work together daily, so it’s important that we can continue to work together beyond this contract negotiation.”


The new contract includes an updated salary schedule that provides an annual 1 percent increase in salary for the duration of the contract. The annual 1 percent raise is in addition to agreed-upon step increases in the salary schedule. The new contract also provides $1,000 annual stipends for principals who are at the top of the 15-step salary schedule and do not receive a step increase.


FPA is the smallest of the school district’s three bargaining units with 43 members. The teams reached a tentative agreement in less than two months and with six negotiation sessions. Negotiations began with the exchange of initial proposals on January 31 and the first negotiation session was held on February 8. The teams addressed the final areas at a March 28 session.


“The contract reflects the respect and appreciation of the hard work principals do for our students, schools and communities. With the tentative agreement in place, we look forward to ratification and continuing our joint efforts to advocate for public education,” said McDaniel.


The tentative agreement is available to view on the school district website at