Greetings Sisters & Brothers.
It’s election time at the IBU and nominations for all Regional and National Offices will begin in September. All full-book members in good standing are eligible to run for office, provided they meet the criteria outlined in the IBU Constitution. In our Region all E-Board seats are open and need to be filled, as well as Patrolman & Regional Director. I will be stepping aside and retiring. Please consider this with some serious thought on how you would like to see the future of this regions direction in the next three years. We have seven contracts we represent. If no one from the ferry system runs for Regional Director or Patrolman you might have leader’s from another contract elected. Stepping in to do these jobs with no understanding of what has taken place in the past would be very difficult. Being in a leadership role is not for the weak at heart. These are not the jobs for the person who wants a cushy job with lots of pats on the back and thank you’s for a job well done. If you believe in the fight for truth, justice, the right to work and Solidarity for all you might want to consider running for one of these offices.
Having been a dues paying member for the past 35 years I wish you all the best in searching your souls and making a right decision in stepping up and running for one of the elected positions that are open for nomination.
Yours in Solidarity, Ricky Deising
Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region
June 24, 2014
Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
When the IBU team arrived at the bargaining table last December, the State plan was a “zero cost contract,” i.e. anything we hoped to gain by bargaining was to be “paid for” by reductions and/or concessions elsewhere in the contract. COLD was eliminated and out-of-state wages were to be the starting point of the pay scale for all members, holdover and other overtime pay was to be reconfigured, no Minimum Guarantee pay, no Late Arrival pay, elimination of lump sum longevity pay, no raises, no Pass Privileges, no A Days for the Southwest fleet, employees able to be replaced by automated services, barring Union officials from visiting the ships without express permission from KCO, etc.,
Within the requirements of good-faith negotiating principles, we proposed and counter-proposed Rules changes that served our members with gains and improvements, or had as little loss or diminishment as possible. We fought and fought hard to bring the other side to reason and fairness.
With your solidarity campaign, your strike authorization vote, this being an election year, and a letter to coastal communities’ elected and business leaders about potential disruption and lost revenue to commerce this summer, the State began to see, perhaps, that they had to change their strategy.
The Tentative Agreement includes these items for your consideration:
Pay increases (1% in 2015 and 2% in 2016, based on out of state rates.) across the board instead of wage cuts or a two-tier pay scale,
- raises for the Deck and Engine departments that approach industry standards,
- choices for Kennicott members when their schedule changes,
- protection of overtime pay for employees in RIF,
- clarified the definition of DRAE. If you are displaced from your bid, then you are a DRAE.
- insure all crewmembers receive meals in shipyards,
- employees may claim sick leave to attend family funerals,
- retain lump sum longevity pay, MG, and Late Arrival pay,
- any automated services placed aboard the vessels will not cost IBU jobs,
- there is quicker leave accrual for new employees, and
- we keep pass privileges.
A few words about passes—
When other transportation industry workers utilize a pass, many still have to pay taxes, surcharges, and other fees not directly tied to the actual cost of travel. Often, those per-trip charges exceed what is proposed as an administrative fee in this Tentative Agreement.
- The public perception that we get a “free” annual pass ends.
- Only current employees and retirees after the ratification of this contract would be liable for the administrative fee. Previous retirees are not affected by this Tentative Agreement.
- Only once in every twelve-month period would an administrative fee be levied and only for those who want to utilize the annual pass privilege.
- All other aspects of pass usage remain unchanged. Deadheaders travel as usual.
- Turning down a contract because members don’t want to pay $100.00 (less than five hours pay for an entry level Steward) for annual pass usage would find us with little or no public support at all… and certainly none from a Legislature who still has to vote on whether to fund a contract.
We are a democratic union and the majority of our membership as a whole must ratify any agreement we work under. If any single department (Deck, Engine, Steward, Purser) does not ratify the agreement by a simple majority, the entire agreement is null and void. We would go back to bargaining and start from square one, but without a contract in place. The State has made it clear that they will implement changes to our work environment as soon as the current contract has expired on June 30, 2014.
There is a lot to like and appreciate about this Tentative Agreement. We urge you to look at it closely, with an eye to all that this contract retains and the improvements made. If ratified, we will enjoy economic and workplace security for another three years. Everyone benefits in some way or another.
Your elected negotiations team strongly recommends a YES vote on this Tentative Agreement.
Yours in Solidarity,
The Negotiation Team
Tony Tengs – alternate
Casey Calhoun – alternate
Alan Cote’– National President
Ricky Deising – Regional Director
June 13th 2014.
Greetings Brother and Sisters,
Your negotiations team has signed a Tentative Agreement with the State of Alaska. The next step is to send ballots to all AMHS workers for a ratification vote. You will be seeing ballots in your mailboxes soon.
When this negotiating process began, the State’s position was for a “zero cost contract” and they held fast to that concept throughout the winter and spring. They were after our COLD, our passes, and were determined to cut across the board.
However, the memberships’ efforts to defeat Senate Bill 182, our unified stand with our brothers and sisters in the MM&P and MEBA, our resounding vote to strike if necessary, as well as the support of labor unions statewide turned the “takeaway tide.” We showed the State of Alaska what “Alaska Strong” is all about.
Copies of the Tentative Agreement will be available soon for your review and consideration.
Important elements of the proposed agreement include:
- NO TAKEAWAYS
- A 1% raise in 2015 and a 2% raise in 2016 for all members.
- Qualifying members retain their COLD wages.
- Important Deck and Engine positions will receive additional increases to approach maritime industry standards. Boatswains and Junior Engineers will make the same as Chief Stewards and Chief Pursers. AB Seamen will increase to the former Boatswain’s rates. Oilers will increase to the former Jr. Engineer’s rates. Ordinary Seamen will increase to the former AB Seamen rates.
- Jr. Pursers will increase to Storekeeper wage rates.
- We keep Rule 21 Late Arrival pay.
- We keep the lump sum pay for qualifying members described in Rule 17.06.
- Kennicott members will be able to choose to be dispatched back into the fleet during operational schedule changes. Additional “place holder days” have been added to those members who would otherwise risk LWOP.
- We keep passes, but those who use them will be subject to an annual administrative fee of $100.00.
As with all issues, we urge all members to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the ballot proposal. Debate pro and con is expected and welcomed. Nevertheless, your negotiations team believes this to be the best deal we can expect or will receive from the State of Alaska. With a unified voice, we strongly recommend an affirmative vote on the proposed ballot.
Ricky Deising, Regional Director
Kerry Crocker, Steward Representative
Earling Walli, Deck Representative
Mark Slichter, Engine Representative
Siwatu McLaurin, SW Representative
Michael Queen, Purser Representative