When it comes to having a tin ear, unions, we suppose, are the most likely to be infected.
Take, for instance, the Anchorage Education Association’s contract negotiations with the Anchorage School District. The first of two public negotiating sessions started this week, with the second slated for today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the school district’s headquarters.
So far, both sides have agreed to a few niggling details, but the real show is going to be over pay.
The union wants a 3.75 percent salaries increase in the first year of the pact and 3.25 percent increases in the second and third years. The district, for its part, is offering zero percent in the first year and a 0.5 percent increase in the second year, and 1 percent in year three.
The district says that is $50 million over its budget. Put another way, those proposed raises could cost taxpayers $50 million more as Alaska struggles out of a recession and a more than 7 percent unemployment rate. The district’s offer reflects fiscal reality.
In our view, district officials should stick to their guns and protect the taxpayers they serve.