Still without a contract, Anchorage School District and teachers union agree to continue mediation

The Anchorage School District and the union that represents about 3,300 of its educators didn't reach a contract agreement this week, but they did agree to continue working toward one.

The district and the Anchorage Education Association teachers union are at odds over a list of items including pay. They have tried to reach an agreement for months, eventually reaching a stalemate in bargaining and agreeing to bring in federal mediators to help. The union's contract expired on June 30, and educators continue to work under its terms.

The district and union didn't reach a contract deal during the first round of mediation Thursday and Friday. They'll continue the process on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7, said a joint statement Friday evening from district superintendent Deena Bishop and union president Tom Klaameyer.

"The Anchorage School District and Anchorage Education Association are pleased to announce that both sides came to mediation with their sleeves rolled up and ready to work," the statement said. "We feel we have made substantial progress toward an agreement."

Those represented by the union include teachers, counselors, librarians and school nurses.