Ship’s Delegate and Department Representative

Attention:   IBUP Members


From:           Joshua Stephenson, Regional Director

Date:           June 30, 2015

It is once again that time of year for elections on board the Alaska Marine Highway Vessels for the position of SHIP’S DELEGATE and DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVE.

What does a Ship’s Delegate do?  The Ship’s Delegate (Shop Steward) is the Union representative sailing on the vessel.  Should there be problems on-board; the Ship’s Delegate can help to resolve them.  The Ship’s Delegate can also help with contract language discrepancies and as a representative of the Union can help to solve problems before they get off the vessel.  The Ship’s Delegate helps in orientation of new crew members on board and acquaints the new mariners with their responsibility in the Union.

 What is a Department Representative? The person that you can consult with in your department. Who has the ability to give you advice regarding the contract, and your responsibilities of  your job. The Department Representative will stand with you in an onboard dispute within your department.

Please hold a Union meeting to select your Ship’s Delegate and Department Representative.  The Union office will need to know who has been elected on each vessel and each crew, so that we are better able to serve our membership.

These positions are extremely important in the functionality of the Union.


Ship Delegates and Department Representatives

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Each summer we hold elections for Ship Delegates and Department Representatives. We ask that elections be held as soon as possible on each vessel to select your Ship’s Delegate and Department Representatives. Each crew will hold a brief union meeting to nominate and elect their delegates and representatives. It would be beneficial that all delegates be permanent crew members and have a willingness to help their fellow Union Sisters & Brothers.

The Union offices will need to know as soon as possible who has been elected on each vessel and each crew, so that we are better able to serve our membership.

Knowledge of our contract is a must, you will be the person called upon during all ship board inquiries and meetings when a problem arises to be a witness to all meetings held on behalf of your Union Sisters & Brothers.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about the responsibilities of the above positions, please contact the Regional Director Joshua Stephenson or Patrolman Pete Lapinski.



Update on Status of FY 2016 Operating Budget

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

ASEA has shared the following information with us:


As you may be aware, last Saturday the House Independent/Democratic Minority and Majority arrived at a compromise on the FY 2016 budget that would have provided for a balanced budget on July 1. Unfortunately, the Senate rejected that compromise budget and it is now in the hands of a budget conference committee, comprised of 3 members of the House and 3 members of the Senate, to reach an agreement that can be approved by both the House and Senate. We can’t predict how quickly this process will work or what the outcome may be but remain optimistic that there will be a budget in place prior to July 1, 2015.

It is important for us to thank those who have stepped forward to pass a budget to avoid a government shutdown on July 1 and to honor the commitment that was made to you in our Collective Bargaining Agreement. Please take the time to send a thank you note to members of the House Independent/Democratic Minority and House Majority and the Senate Minority for taking this action and urge them to continue their commitment to avoiding a shutdown and honoring the contracts. We urge you to specifically thank the members of the Independent/Democratic House Minority for standing firm to ensure honoring our contracts was included in the House passed budget. You can access all these members by clicking on the following link:

Additionally, it is important to urge the Budget Conference Committee to accept the House passed version of the budget. Please thank the House Conference Committee members for the budget they passed and ask the Senate Conference Committee members to accept it. Those members are listed on the following link:

Remember it is always more effective to be positive and polite in your message no matter the position a legislator may have taken to this point on the budget. Also, always use your personal email when writing to legislators.

Although we remain optimistic that a budget will be passed prior to July 1 we know it is very unsettling that many of you will receive notices of pending layoff. We know the Governor did not want to have to mail these notices but it was his responsibility to do so in order to give required and adequate notice to all union employees. There are many questions regarding how a partial shutdown would occur and the effect on employees. The Division of Personnel and Labor Relations has provided answers to many questions. We have posted it on our website and you can access it by clicking on the following link:

Please be assured that we are working diligently with the State Administration and Legislature to avoid the shutdown and to honor our contract. Also, when and if it becomes clear that a shutdown will occur on July 1 we will be addressing a number of issues with the Administration.



Partial shutdown

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

The Maritime Unions had a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner from DOA, the Director of Labor Relations and the Deputy Director of Labor Relations on Friday.  This meeting was to discuss how a possible government shutdown would affect AMHS.

Today, Monday June 1st, layoff letters will be sent out to all State employees.  This does not necessarily mean you will be laid off.  In order to stream line the process the State is sending all notifications to State employees out at once.  These blanket letters will be sent to your email(s) on file with the State and your home address.

The State is attempting to make this process as  smooth as possible.  They are willing to discuss the possibility of furloughs but that is a complicated matter with AMHS.  They are also willing to enter into a Letter of Agreement that would allow our members to maintain their leave balances.

If  layoffs become necessary the ships will be tied up.  Currently there is no  plan as to how or where the ships will tie up.  The State is discussing this and hope to have a plan this week and will set up a meeting with the Unions. If the legislature reaches an agreement by June 30th this will become a dead issue.

More information will be sent out as soon as we know more.

Please see the Frequently Asked Question Links below. These updates can be sent to either your personal email or texted to your phone.

Updates Sign Up:

FAQ links:


Retirement and Benefits –

Worker’s Compensation –

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J Stephenson

Regional Director Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region

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May Regional Report

Greetings brothers and sisters,

This has been a challenging time with the uncertainty of the AMHS budget. It is the single most asked about issue from our members. Unfortunately, until a finalized budget is released, we have no way to know how severely AMHS will be effected. It is encouraging to see that our Governor has made several statements that include honoring monetary terms in his proposed budget, even after the Senate voted NOT to honor monetary terms for 14 unions! If Union contracts are not honored, in my opinion, it brings into question future “good faith” bargaining with the State.

Your E-Board has recently met at the IBU office in Juneau. We covered many topics of importance to our membership. The coupling of fresh ideas and experience is inspiring to be a part of as we take care of our regions business. We had a very full agenda and thank our E-Board for their time and dedication to the betterment of our Union.

Our E-Council will be meeting this coming week in Seattle from the 18th thru the 21st. The Regional Directors from each region will be meeting to discuss Union business from each area. We will also be submitting resolutions we have for the upcoming ILWU convention.

I would like to share a story with you. A few weeks ago we had a telephone call from one of our Brothers who was retiring after several years as a valued Bos’n, shipmate and IBU member. He was not able to retire off of vacation and in need of a single day of work status. He reached out to our Juneau office to help figure out a solution. I made a single phone call a member asking if he would do a single day yard swap to help out. With no hesitation or indecision he replied “Of course, tell me the day”. This is the comradery that our Union, YOUR Union, is made of. These unselfish acts for one another is what makes us who we are.

We have come to an agreement with Alaska Nautical Services. It is a very reasonable solution to the issues we were dealing with. Our ANS Valdez group stood strong and fought for their right to be treated fairly and it paid off. Thank you for uniting, believing in your Union and holding out up there guys.

We are still in contract negotiations with Delta Western. National President Alan Coté has been working to secure a contract and value his dedication and efforts during this vital negotiation process.

Our Crowley members are doing well. There have been few problems and when there are, our Shop Stewards have addressed or resolved them directly. Thank you to our Shop Stewards for your devotion and perseverance.

Sundance Stevedoring, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the City of Unalaska have all been problem free and going strong.

Our AMHS contract continues to be the most problematic. The printing of our AMHS contract has been postponed until we know the final outcome of the budget. We have had several meetings with state to discuss the Actor Decision and the possible negative impacts to our AMHS employees. We are still meeting to resolve the use of vacation for LWOP.  We have had discussions with State concerning the 4-week dispatch and issues that arise from it. We feel we have been making progress with the State during these meetings and discussion, they have been encouraging and promising.

We have recently “won” our FVF ULP filed in conjunction with MMP and MEBA, regarding employees eating food aboard the fast ferries. The Unions have been in ongoing negotiations with the State to find a mutually agreeable solution.

The State has recently decided to change the policy language in AMHS trip pass language “to be more in line with CBA”. We feel this policy change is not at all in line with our CBA language and another ULP with MMP and MEBA is being filed.

Thank you again to everyone for your support and encouragement. Please remember our office and phone is here for you. If you have any comments or concerns call or stop by anytime to discuss anything on your mind.

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region

907-790-9644 office





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