by Ashton Goodell
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- At Monday night's school board meeting, Anchorage teachers said they're at an impasse in contract negotiations and asked the school board to come back to the negotiating table.
Teachers say Anchorage is no longer competitive with other districts in the state. Talented teachers point at high turnover and inadequate benefits and are asking for a reason to stay.
Ten teachers, all with different backgrounds, drove home the same point at the meeting.
"The ASD school board must plan for salary increases," said Marilyn Pillifant.
If the district won't increase salary and health benefits, teachers say they will walk, but whether that means all will strike or a few will quit is unclear.
Teachers predict the district won't be able to keep qualified teachers.
"If the rotation continues to go, when the young teachers come in every five years, pretty soon they aren't going to have anybody to look back to, to grow with, because that's what we as teachers do. We collaborate, we talk to each other, and we learn from each other," said Renee Wade.