Juneau teachers call for strike vote if bargaining fails

Juneau teachers have authorized the executive board of their union to schedule a strike vote if bargaining efforts fail.

The Juneau Education Association represents 365 teachers in the Juneau School District.

At a meeting late last week, teachers said school district officials’ concerns that a small cost of living raise would harm student programs is unfounded. Instead, teachers argue it would help retain and recruit teachers, resulting in better quality programming.

JEA and the Juneau School District have been negotiating a contract for more than 10 months, and currently await an arbitrator’s decision, which will be advisory only.

The Alaska Public Employment Relations Act allows teachers to strike only after arbitration with the school district.  The two sides met with the arbitrator in October.  According to a JEA news release over the weekend, the JEA Executive Board will take no action regarding a strike vote until the arbitration award has been made.