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FNSBSD: Press Release - School District and Teacher Union Negotiations at Impasse

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022

Subject: School District and Teacher Union Negotiations at Impasse

FAIRBANKS–The school district and the Fairbanks Educators Association (FEA) have reached the point of impasse in contract negotiations as of Wednesday, September 21, 2022. The district has held over ten meetings with FEA since December 2021 to negotiate a new 2023-2025 contract for teachers. The district believes that while some progress has been made, mediation for the remaining contract items would be beneficial to reach an agreement.  

Either negotiating team can declare an impasse, meaning that they believe no meaningful movement is being made on the proposed contract. The two negotiating teams would meet with a third party mediator who will assist in bringing the district and FEA into a mutually satisfactory agreement. FEA district staff are currently working under terms from the prior contract.

Areas where the district and FEA have not been able to make meaningful progress on include staff salaries and restructuring the employee health plan. The district’s initial proposal included step increases for all eligible employees, with no increases to the salary schedule, over the next three years. FEA’s initial proposal included step increases and increased staff salary schedules by 5% each year, for three years. This increase would cost the district approximately $29.5 million over the three year period and result in significant staffing reductions, larger class sizes and elimination of districtwide student-focused programs (i.e., athletics, music, theater, etc).  

The district is facing substantial budget challenges and must balance contractual obligations while maintaining an excellent educational experience for our students. The current estimated budget deficit for 2023-24 is approximately $11 million before any potential staff salary schedule increases or health plan restructuring.

The district has settled a successor agreement with the Fairbanks Principals Association, and negotiations are still underway with the Education Support Staff Association. 

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FEA is the local bargaining unit that serves over 800 teachers in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. FEA is affiliated with the National Education Association and NEA-Alaska. 

For more information, please contact: Joshua DuVall, Director of Communications, (907) 452-2000 ext.11438, joshua.duvall@k12northstar.org.