Sisters and Brothers of the Alaska Region,
Greetings all from the home front of the Alaska region, we have been busy here doing what we do best and that is fighting for your rights in the work places. As you all know we have been in contract negotiations for the past eleven months and are still in a struggle for our members with Alaska Nautical on getting them a fair deal. We are pleased to anounce that we have five contracts signed, sealed and delivered for our members. We are in the process of working with our National President, Alan Cote` in working out the details for our newest members working for Delta Western in Dutch Harbor in getting their first ever contract worked out. We want to take the time and say thank you to Pete Lapinski for being the wizard of getting the job done, and also to Karena for all she has done to keep our team moving forward. Our members with Crowley in Valdez, Gateway Borough in Ketichikan, Valdez Longshore, Unalaska and AMHS all have security for the next two plus years because of you the members being pro-active in assisting the union in the process of negotiations. This contract season has been one of the biggest fights in the history of this region with moving forward in keeping what you have in your collective agreements with your employers.
Nothing comes without a price and we have to say that this region has some serious decisions ahead of it. We mailed out the ballots yesterday Oct 16th to each Full Book member in good standing as of Oct 5, 2014, to decide who your future leaders will be for the next three years. Along with your ballots there will be a question to vote on whether to allow the IBU Alaska Region to use the defense fund to supplement the Patrolman’s fund which is part of your dues each month. We recommend a “yes” vote from your E-Board to allow us to operate without any slowdowns or closures of our offices or lay off’s of either our Secretary’s position or Patrolman being used only during part of the year. We have been using a special fund for the past five years that is due to run out in the near future, but with a “Yes” vote we can continue forward without asking our members for a dues increase for this region.
This has been a year of many fights and struggles and with us needing to reach out to everyone we could for support during our battle with SB 182 during negotiations for our AMHS members this past winter which dragged out for almost seven months. Along that journey several elected officials stood up and backed the three maritime unions with our efforts to stop the bill. We have taken a stance as a union to support several of these officials by our support to help them be reelected. We have backed Walker/ Mallott for Governor and Lt. Governor because of their support for labor. The Parnell administration wanted to take away many of your rights at the table and did not give cost of living increases willingly to all the state employees and their families who are in unions. For U.S. Senator we are backing Mark Begich, along with the National ILWU, IBU and the CLC of southeast. Sen. Begich consistently backed maritime workers and Alaskans overall.
In the southeast we are supporting Senator Dennis Egan, House Rep. Cathy Munoz and House Rep.Sam Kito who took over for Beth Kertula, who make up the Juneau delegation. We are also supporting Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins House Rep.for Sitka. They were all very instrumental in the battles we have ongoing with the state. They reached out to several of the members of the IBU to assist them and us in the fight with the state using LWOP and vacation incorrectly, along with the battle to get back your rights with the Jones Act. This will be a huge battle this next legislative session and we will need all the help we can to get this awesome team being reelected. Please keep in mind these candidates helped our union countless times during this time I was in office as regional director. I urge you all to use your best judgment when using your power to vote and make it count so our Union has the best support when called upon for our members throughout the great state of Alaska.
We are also supporting Dan Ortiz for House from Ketchikan, Larry Murakami for House Rep from Fairbanks, Harry Crawford for State Senate from Anchorage, Tamara Roselius for State Senate from Fairbanks, Matt Claman for House Rep. from Anchorage, Warren Keogh for State Senate from Chickaloon.
We have just finished having our regional E-Board meetings this past month in September and I would like to thank each of the board members for their willingness to step up and be part of this regions business and for being part of the leadership for how this union is run. Being a democratic body the union is directed by the board regionally and by the E-Council nationally and hold all elected officials accountable to the office for which they are elected. We want to wish each of those board members who are either retiring or stepping away all the best in whatever they are moving on to do.
I would also like to say during this past term that I have served, we witnessed major involvement from our members being more proactive with this office on how we deal with the process of representing you the members. We have been able to assist you through our web site with updates and also through social media during plans of actions.
We urge each of you to take the time when your union ballot arrives and vote right away to have your vote count. Our union is each and every one of you and we need solidarity now.
Yours in Solidarity, Ricky Deising
Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region