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Daily Sitka Sentinel Newspaper Archives Apr 4 1990, Page 1

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Sitka Daily Sentinel (Newspaper) - April 4, 1990, Sitka, Alaska Member of the associated press the daily Sentinel wednesday april 4,1990 volume 52 no. 66 Sitka Alaska 35c District teachers launch negotiations by will Swagel Sentinel Staft writer collective bargaining on a new contract for Sitka school teachers got under Way tuesday with a three hour session by negotiators for the Sitka school District and Nea Sitka. Last week the sides exchanged contract proposals. At tuesdays session some Points of agreement were identified negotiating ground rules were discussed and a schedule of talks was set through june. The districts initial proposal was for a three year contract and a 3 percent raise. Nea proposed a one year contract with a 16.5 percent raise. To be negotiated Are differences Over such items As the number of teaching Days and in service training Days per year health insurance and maternity leave. Nea proposed that the third thursday of each month be a a teacher course curriculum development Day a a on which classes would be dismissed for half the Day so that teachers can meet on a regular basis to coordinate teaching efforts. The District proposes addition of two teaching Days per year. The school District was represented by Carole Burger a professional negotiator assistant superintendent for schools Joe Beckford and Sitka High school principal Lee Demmert. Burger a $60-pcr-hour consultant was hired through the Alaska association of school boards. She is presently involved in negotiations in Barrow and the Alaska Gateway school District in Tok As Well As Sitka she said. Nea is being represented by Sitka teachers Moira Mcbride Ted Howard Peggy Boydston Ann Walters and Michelle Cross. The negotiations began at 2 30 . Tuesday in a Public session. The unusual open bargaining sessions came about after Nea asked the Board to allow Nea to have a a float Inge member on its team the position to be rotated among other teachers in order to familiarize them with the bargaining process. The Board refused said Burger but countered that the familiarization purpose could be achieved if Nea would agree to conduct negotiations in Public. Negotiations Are held in Public unless both sides agree to close them which is usually the Case. Burger said that there May be an agreement Between the parties to go behind closed doors in the future. The question of near a floating member will be submitted for arbitration said Mcbride. At the Start of negotiations tuesday the audience consisted Only of Joseph alter a representative of Nea Alaska and two members of the press. After the school Day ended about a dozen teachers filed in to observe part or All of the remaining proceedings. Burger and Mcbride each said their proposals had three main elements. Burger said the District proposal wanted More a time on task a or actual classroom time for teachers More professional development and staff stability. A those Are the three things that guide All of the proposals you find in the Board offer a she said. The increased time on task goal is behind the District proposal for two additional teaching Days and an adjustment on leave Days Burger said. She said the District wants to add a doctorate category to the salary schedule and remove some other intermediate Steps. The three year contract proposal is in line with the boards goal to increase stability she said. Mcbride said the teacher proposals concerned equity a a wellness and stability. The unions proposals on a pay raise professional development and More chances for teachers to meet continued on Page 9 Board hears reports on teachers languages by Sentinel Staft tuesday was report night for the Sitka school Board. Members got a Progress report on the hiring of new teachers were updated on a non retention hearing for a teacher and were briefed on the foreign language program. Four school principals reported on the process of hiring staff for 17.5 faculty positions most the result of teachers planning to take Early retirement at the end of this school year. Interviews Are continuing for the Middle school and High school positions and the selection has been completed for the five elementary positions the principals reported. One of the five Evelyn Chase is an Alaska native said Baranof elementary school principal Cliff Schadler. A number of sit kans have been calling for the hiring of More natives As teachers. Chase was hired for second Grade. The school has another Alaska native teaching first Grade Schadler said. Chase is now teaching in Interior Alaska. She received an elementary education degree from Sheldon Jackson College in 1988. Schadler said her principal said she is in the top 2 percent of the teachers he has known. A when a principal tells you that you know he stalking about the Cream of the crop a said Schadler. Three of the new teachers arc Sitka residents. Kathleen Brandt currently a paraprofessional was selected As a first Grade teacher. At vers Lovia elementary school Gail Bagley now a half time kindergarten teacher was hired to teach third Grade. Jan love was chosen for a fourth Grade opening. Currently she is a full time substitute for another fourth Grade teacher who is on maternity leave until the end of the school year. Beth Garrison of Gustavus was selected for the Kinder Garlyn through fifth Grade enrichment position. She formerly was a paraprofessional Here. Blatchley principal Walt Clark reported that there Are 5�?~a positions to be filled at the Middle school. Sitka High principal Lee Demmert said replacements Are being hired for six High school teachers who look Early retirement. In addition a counselling position became open when Linda Selvig transferred to an elementary classroom he said. Teacher non retention superintendent Art Woodhouse advised the Board on the ground rules of a hearing set for 9 . April 12, regarding non retention of a tenured Leacher. Last month the superintendent recommended to the Board that special education instructor Evie d. Linstad not be retained for the 1990-91 school year. Wood ouse said the hearing will be closed to the Public at the teachers request. Woodhouse said he and the school boards attorney will present the Case against the teacher and the teacher will be represented by her own attorney. The Board will be the jury and Issue a written finding. Woodhouse advised the Board that it should choose an attorney other than the school Board attorney to advise the Board in its role As the jury since it would be a conflict for the school boards regular attorney to prosecute and also advise the Board. He said the teacher has the right of subpoena while the administration not. If the ruling goes against her Linstad will have the right to have the Case tried in Superior court the superintendent said. Foreign language three foreign language instructors along with several students were present to give the Board a report about the districts Spanish French and japanese language programs. Spanish language instructor sue Riggs told the Board that students do not become fluent in a foreign language in a year or two but that they can get a Good Start. Mastery of another language is a a Long journey bul one you can accomplish she said. In addition to teaching language she said instructors seek to impart knowledge about other cultures As Well. French language instructor Elizabeth will estimated that just under one half of the students in the High school take a foreign language. Some classes Are also taught at Blatchley Middle school. Sitka students currently can take their first year of japanese language at i. Edgecumbe High school and their second and third years at Sitka High under the instruction of Hiroko Boh. Beginning next year however students will be Able to take their first year of japanese at Sitka High school As Well and four years of instruction in the language will be available. One year of japanese language is also taught at Blatchley Middle school by Cal Hayashi. After the teachers reports three continued on Page 9 legislators push Cut in retirement costs by Larry Persily associated press writer Juneau apr several legislators say the state needs to control the increasing Cost of its retirement program and employees might be asked to help pay for a solution which could take at least a year to find. The states employer share of re tire mint fund contributions will increase 44 percent july i costing an additional $22 million in fiscal 1991. The employee share is set in state Law and not change As costs increase. A there arc a lot of legislators who Are simply not Happy that the state always gets stuck a said Senate president Tim Kelly a Anchorage. Several House and Senate members Are searching for ways to share future Cost increases Between the state and its employees but no one believes a solution will be easy. Legislators working on the Issue said any changes arc at least a year away and Likely would Al Lect Only new employees. But rep. Fran Ulmer a Juneau said tuesday that she generally opposes such a two tier Benefit programs which she said create unequal classes of employees. The state pays the entire Cost of employee health insurance premiums and will pay about two thirds of retirement fund costs in fiscal 1991, for a total of More than $130 million. That number not include University employees. A the state is reaching a position where it no longer can afford to do that a Kelly said. A i just done to have any firm a possible solution might be to share future retirement Cost increases equally Between the state and its employees he said. Health insurance costs $385 a month per employee and the states contribution to the retirement fund in fiscal 1991 will be 13.86 percent of a workers salary. The employee share is set in Law at 7 percent of salary. Kelly said an increase in the employee share Only is unlikely an opinion shared by sen. Johne Binkley a Bethel and co chairman of the Senate finance committee. A the political reality is its very difficult to make changes like that a Binkley said. State budget director Alison Elgee said the retirement program is not part of contract negotiations with state employees and any changes would be up to lawmakers. The largest state employees Union is just starting to review the Issue said Fred Dichter business manager for the 8,500-Mcmber Alaska slate employees association. Cost saving changes Are supported by rep. Ron Larson a Palmer and co chairman of the House finance committee and rep. Steve Richcr a Anchorage and a finance committee member. But they also said no changes arc expected this year. House speaker stun Collen Dea Gle River said he believes most state workers understand the need for possible Cost sharing of the retirement program. A the level of need this year is so great its really kind of startling a he said. Most state employee unions have accepted new contract terms that include a 3.3 percent pay raise this year a the first across the Board increase since 1985. Sen. Jim Duncan a Juneau said it would be unfair to give workers a pay raise and then take away the Money by imposing higher con Tribu Lions to the retirement fund. One proposal under review in the House finance committee would change the retirement system to reduce wide fluctuations in the states contribution rate. The current system requires employees to work five years before they Are entitled to keep the states contribution to their retirement. House Bill 579 would eliminate the five year wait but a disadvantage might be reduced retirement benefits for employees. Senate oks Bill on Hunter harassment by Brian s. Akre associated press writer Juneau apr responding to the tactics of some animal rights groups the Senate passed legislation tuesday that would make it a crime to interfere intentionally with someone who is Hunting fishing or trapping. Some of the More aggressive Ani Mal rights groups have harassed Hunters in other states to prevent what members consider cruelly to animals. Sen. Steve Frank a Fairbanks and prime sponsor of the Bill said legislation is needed because stale harassment Laws Are not specific enough to protect alaskans from dial kind of activity. The tactics of animal rights groups have included following Hunters into the Woods and making noise to scare animals away plastering Hunting blinds with manure and placing animal repellent along trails. The Bill is aimed at thwarting such tactics Frank said. A a it a still not a prevalent problem in Alaska but its something we should have on the books before it becomes a big problem Quot Frank stud. The legislation would help a recognize and protect Hunting As a legit mate and traditional part of the alaskan lifestyle a he said. Violations of die proposed Law would be a Misdemeanour punishable by up to 30 Days in jail and a s5ck Fine. It also would allow people who Are victims of such harassment to seek punitive damages and the reimburse herring fishery meetings begin the Alaska department of fish and game updated fishermen this morning on the status of the pending herring Sac Roc fishery. Another meeting is planned for 11 . Thursday at the Westmark inn on Katlian Street. The fishery went on two hour notice today. Mint of expenses such As License and permit fees guide and outfitting fees harassment of commercial fishing is not covered by the Bill. Frank said sen. Fred Zharoff a Kodiak requested that exemption because its common for commercial fishermen to compete aggressively on the open sea for prime fishing grounds. Senate Bill 469 is supported by the National Rifle association the Alaska outdoor Council and the Eskimo Walrus commission. The Senate passed it 18-1 with no discussion. It goes to the House.5 arrested As illegal aliens by Sentinel staff five illegal aliens were arrested aboard the processor Pacific Pride in Sitka sound tuesday evening and were sent to Seattle inlay for a deportation hearing said immigration and naturalization service ins agent Gilbert Petty. Petty said the men All mexican nationals were workers on the Pacific Pride. They were charged with working illegally in the . Immigration service Deputy District director Norbert league said the men were caught in a routine random inspection of commercial vessels. He said the coast guard boardings last week turned up information some illegal aliens might be among the hundreds of fishery workers Here for the Spring herring fishery. The five men were identified As Elpidio Leon 21 Reynaldo Leon 29 Cirilio Leon 38 Dimas Ocampo 41, and Octavio Bautista 23. They were to be taken u Seattle to await a hearing before a Federal judge league said the men could be sentenced to jail if they have been deported before but Normal procedure is for the Insu it Fly them to the .-Mexico Border and drive them across. The Issue is not a new one in Alaska where Many people depend on Hunting and fishing for their food and livelihood. Similar legislation passed in 1983 and 1984, but was vetoed by then gov. Bill Sheffield. Attempts to pass a Bill in 1986 and 1988 failed. David Ramseur a spokesman for gov. Steve Cowper said he was unsure whether the Democrat would support the Bill if it passes the House in the Legislatures final five weeks. Frank said he submitted the Bill at the request of die Alaska outdoor Council an affiliate of the National Rifle association. A the problems posed by the increasingly blatant attempts of anti Hunters for lawful outdoors men will continue to grow if we do nothing Quot said de crasser Council legislative affairs director in a memo to Frank. Animal rights groups have fought such legislation in other Stales. Heidi Prescott of the fund for animals in Washington d.c., said her group plans to lobby against Franks Bill in the House. Problem at microwave site disrupts Telephone service by will Swagel Sentinel staff writer Southeast Alaska Telephone service to Points North of Haines was disrupted for a while Early today by the breakdown of a Remote microwave station in Canada. Lee Wareham Ala com vice president in charge of operations said the Fraser station 2, xxx feet up in the mountains North of Haines went dead at about 2 . The automatic relay Point is one in a Chain of alas come a microwave Repealer stations crossing Alaska and Northwest Canada. By late this morning Ala com had restored the link by routing Calls through its satellite system said Wareham. Either the microwave or the satellite system could handle die entire calling Load he said providing Complete backup whenever one system fails. A it s a network survivability he added. After the communications link was restored the backlog of Calls created by the outage continued to cause delays in making connections for a while Wareham said. Quot its like when you re on the freeway and there a a wreck a he explained. A it takes a while for traffic to smooth Wareham said Haines and Skagway were completely Cut off by phone for several hours Early this morning but southbound Telephone traffic for the rest of Southeast remained Normal throughout the period Wareham said Ala com still does no to know what caused the outage at the Fraser microwave station but suspects it May have been ice sloughing off the Tower and damaging equipment below. None of the elaborate monitors and alarms showed any problem before the station went out. Wareham said. He said bad weather at the Tower site prevented Canadian Ala com workers from reaching it today despite several tries. A a and those canadians Are Tough you just about have to kill them to get them to quit a he said. A but sometimes Mother nature reminds us who a really in Wareham said northbound callers wont notice any change in service once the backlog is cleared but the company wont have its backup system again until the Fraser station is begin Nea Sitka negotiating team members above photo face the Sitka school District team Side photo As contract talks began tuesday. Left to right above Are spokeswoman Moira Mcbride Michelle Cross Ted Howard Peggy Boydston and Ann Walters. The District team members Are from left assistant superintendent Joe Beckford Sitka High principal Lee Demmert and spokeswoman Carole Burger. Contract negotiations Are being held at the school District offices in vers Tovia elementary school. Sentinel photos by will Swagel

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