This story originally published in the Peninsula Clarion.
A week after contract negotiations with the school district hit a standstill, peninsula educators and staff have voted to strike.
In a Facebook post published Wednesday night, the Kenai Peninsula Education Association reported that more than 75% of certified staff voted “yes” on a walkout.
For over a year, contract negotiations between the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Kenai Peninsula Education Association and Kenai Peninsula Educational Support Association have snagged on the rising cost of health care. A previous agreement effective through June 2018 remains in use for employees without contracts.
In its Facebook post, the Education Association said that the bargaining team will continue to negotiate with the school district.
Employees and the associations will choose a strategic time to start the strike, according to a presentation posted on the Education Association’s Facebook page on Sunday. The association will hold meetings over the summer to prepare employees on how to strike successfully.
The associations are required to give the district a 72-hour notice ahead of any strike. District employees cannot be fired for participating in a legal strike.