Yukon teachers OK contract by 98.5% margin

Board approves negotiated agreement; sides cite cooperation

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By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

A new agreement between Yukon’s teachers’ association and the school district has been approved with almost all voting members in favor.

Yukon Professional Educators Association (YPEA) members voted 194-3 (98.5% approval) for the YPEA negotiated agreement. There were close to 650 eligible voters across Yukon Public Schools.

“Our negotiations team sends out a survey every year to teachers and we use that information as we go through the contract,” YPEA President Vicki Bonny said.

“We worked most of the summer, along with YPS administration, to make changes to better our contract. We were very pleased that it was ratified at such a high rate!”

The YPS Board of Education, at its September meeting, voted 5-0 to approve the contract with the organization that represents Yukon’s certified educators.

The YPEA membership’s overwhelming approval of the new agreement demonstrates how well the negotiating team works on behalf of the district’s teachers, YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said.

“The relationship between the district and the YPEA has grown over the last five years to a very collegial and professional organizational dialogue,” Simeroth told YPS patrons and board members.

Contract negotiations among YPS administrators and YPEA leadership “begin early” and both sides discuss issues in monthly meetings, he added.

“The conversations that we have and the respect and professionalism that have developed over the last five years are just excellent. They really are,” Simeroth said at the Sept. 8th school board meeting.

YPEA leaders work hard at what they do and are a good group, he added.

“We appreciate what they do,” Simeroth said.

Among personnel items approved during the YPS board’s September meeting was the retirement of Deeann Bellamy, a special education teacher at Independence School.