Author Archives: Josh

Regional Directors Report

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

As you probably know where are now in the 29th Alaska Legislature season. This will be another trying session as adversaries of AMHS seek to tighten the purse strings even further on funding. At the Juneau office we will be busy attending several meetings and committee hearings during the season. There are still several Legislatures who are friendly to Unions and strong AMHS supporters. This is the time for all our members, friends and family to telephone their representatives and voice our support for continued funding, not only for AMHS but all our brothers and sisters who have CBAs with the State of Alaska.

Our other major concern is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. If this blatant attack on unionism goes the wrong way, we could very well be looking at the end of public sector unions. We are following this case closely, as is the nation.

All of our Alaska Region members should have received ballots to vote on a dues increase. The dues increase is $36.00 a year. The finance committee labored long and hard to find the most cost effective increase for our membership. Brothers and Sisters please take the time to vote. Exercise your right to vote on every issue that is put up for vote. Many of you may not know that the more votes we generate the greater pull we have at the national level. It is in all of our best interest to vote.

Our next E-Board meeting with be in Ketchikan March 8-10. March 10 at 1330 at Ketchikan office is the next general membership meeting.

Remember to think of a name change you may like and submit to our Juneau office before November 2016. We have had very few submissions to date.

Please CC Pete on emails. During these next few months I will be in and out of the office.

Alaska Nautical Service contract is as running on all cylinders. This April our ANS contract will begin preparing for a busy summer season. We still have very few issues up there. Our relationship with ANS management is still great and look forward to the same rapport with ANS’ new president. As always a big thank you to our shop steward in Valdez.

Crowley Valdez is still doing well. The open communication and candidness is very appreciated. We have a few minor issues once in a while. When there is an issue it is resolved quickly and openly. Our Shop Stewards are fantastic and work tirelessly with management to solve problems before they become an issue, I cannot say it enough, thank you for all your work up there.  We are still waiting for word on the RFP. Given the remarkable safety and professionalism shown by our brothers and sisters we are still hopeful Crowley Valdez will be given the contract.

Sundance Stevedoring, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Unalaska all are pleased with no issues.

AMHS. Where to begin. This is the absolute most demanding contract (EVER). I am now the proud owner of several gray hairs because of the frustration this contract brings with it. The largest issue we have is the States interpretation of the Actor decision. We have been in negotiations with the State for over a year in an attempt to find a solution. The State has grasped onto the term regular days off to mean that none of the employees may use any of their personal days off to be considered in paid status. Of course this is troublesome because it means that no one has any idea if they are receiving health benefits or not, nor does the employer. This could all be solved by a simple agreement allowing employees to use leave to be in paid status. This is apparently not an option the employer is interested in. We are told in meetings with the State that the employer cares for the employee; however, ensuring that employees cannot use personal leave they have worked for is contradictory to that statement.

We continue to have issues with dispatch. We are getting mixed comments on whether the pay period dispatch is favored over the monthly. It is something we would like to know. Please let either of the offices know or tell an E-Board member onboard your feelings on it. If this new dispatch is not to the majorities liking, we can cancel it and go back to the monthly.

We have several grievances in the works. Please remember that grievances take several months to resolve.

Please remember to vote, remain active and uphold the level of professionalism the public has come to expect from our membership. Safe sailings.

The IBU offices are staff are here to serve YOU. If you have any questions, comments or concerns call or stop by anytime.

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific

Alaska Region

907-790-9644

joshua@nullibu.org

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Regional Report

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Where to begin? It has been a busy few months at the home port. Your delegates recently attended the 61st annual IBU convention in Seattle. It was a very uplifting and educational experience. We had a teleconference with Senator Sanders, who we unanimously voted to officially support for presidency. Here is a link to Labor for Bernie to sign and show support: http://www.laborforbernie.org/ please sign and encourage friends and family to do so as well if you’re so inclined.

Your union passed several resolutions including support of continued funding for AMHS, Alaska’s LNG project, an annual Ferry Boat Workers Caucus and to enact a solidarity campaign for our Brothers and Sisters of Delta Western.

We also had changes or amendments to our Constitution. An amendment passed for our members to submit a name change of our Union to their regional office for consideration. This was fueled by a desire by some to have a gender neutral Union name. To accomplish this, each member of the IBU will be called upon to submit ideas for a name to their regional offices. By November 2016 Regional Executive boards will choose two (2) names to submit to the Executive Council. The Executive Council will, from these fourteen (14) names, select two (2) names to go out on a national ballot, one of which will be the current name, the Inlandboatmen’s Union. Votes will be tallied by November 2017.

There is a request for dues increase of three (3) dollars a month. This may sound like a lot to some; however, to put this number in perspective, it is the equivalent of 1 hour of overtime a year. Of course this will be put out to ballot, again I encourage each and every one of our Brothers and Sisters to vote. It is the lifeblood of this Union. The IBU is a rank-n-file driven union, democracy is second to none and has been since its inception. Please exercise your right to vote, not only on this matter but every chance you get on all issues.

After our IBU convention I attended the International Federation of Employee Benefit Program conference. It was an extremely informative five days. Since the most of our IBU Alaska members are in the IBU health and pension it was advantageous to attend and learn the fundamentals of multi-employer pension and health trusts. This conference was paid for by A&I, our plan administrators.

Alaska Nautical Service contract is as smooth as can be. We are having very little concerns up there. Our relationship with ANS management has been improving vastly over the last ten months. It is nice to have contracts that there is open dialogue and working together. It is reminiscent of Crowley Valdez relationship. Again I want to express my sincere thanks to our Shop Steward up there who is very active and involved.

Crowley Valdez is doing well. Very few complaints or concerns, again in large part Shop Stewards who are energetic and enthusiastic. Crowley Valdez is currently in the midst of an important RFP and given the tremendous safety record and professionalism displayed by our mariners we are optimistic Crowley Valdez will be given the contract. Continue the good work and pride in your Union and employer guys.

Sundance Stevedoring, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Unalaska all are pleased with no issues.

AMHS is still our most trying and complicated contract. As we all know the State is in severe financial crises which makes the future rather uncertain. The proposed operating schedule shows a number of vessels offline for an indeterminate time. This operating schedule is a proposal and may be adjusted depending up the legislative body and their willingness to approve funding.

We are still improving our communication and relationship with the State and making positive steps towards that goal. We continue to have major issues with payroll and dispatch. Those are the two main areas that we hope to smooth out. If we could reduce the amount of NOPP and grievances in those two areas it would dramatically improve things.

There has been a lot of misinterpretation of Chief Pursers and their watch hours. We are currently in a grievance process to address that confusion. We feel, according to the CBA language, Chief Pursers have a set straight 12 hour watch. The State feels that Pursers are watchstanders and therefore are to work a non-watch shift.

We are debating a provision in the Southwest supplemental when they are in yards. This is a matter of much discussion. Again, reading the language in the CBA, we feel our interpretation is correct.

There has been no progress on the Actor decision. We would like to find common ground that allows our members to use vacation they have earned, sick leave they accumulated and health insurance they have worked for. As of yet we have not reached an agreement, even though this decision was handed down over a year ago! I understand that this is frustrating for several of our members, please keep in mind we are working towards a solution that benefits not just the employer.

The Alaska Class Ferries are on schedule and will be the future vessels. They are a front loading vessels which provides challenges for the majority of AMHS ports of call. These ports are to be updated to accommodate the new vessels, the high cost of saving money!

Perhaps a weekly update on the AMHS contract would be better. There is so much transpiring it is difficult to put in a report every two months.

We would like to hear from the fleet with your thoughts on the pay period dispatch. Let us know if you like it or is not as good as we anticipated.

Please remember to vote, remain active and uphold the level of professionalism the public has come to expect from our membership. Safe sailings and Happy Thanksgiving.

As always, the IBU offices are staff are here to serve YOU. if you have any questions, comments or concerns call or stop by anytime.

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific

Alaska Region

907-790-9644

joshua@nullibu.org

 

 

 

 

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2 Week “Pay Period” Dispatch

Please see the new dispatch language. This 2 week rule will replace the monthly AND the weekly. Dispatch will post the first of the Pay Period Schedules on 9/23/2015 covering the 9/26/2015 to 10/9/2015 pay period. Also attached are the dates for vacation requests and FFD. If you have any questions please contact us.

Bid and Pay Period Dispatch Plan 2015

15 II 289 Two Week Dispatching LOA

 

 

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific

Alaska Region

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Regional Director Report

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Almost made it through the summer, and what a summer it has been! We have faced several bumps along the way, mainly with the AMHS contract, but all in all it has been a productive time. I hope everyone voted on our International ballots that were mailed out. We put out notices and asked several members to spread the word on how important it is we vote and show some strong numbers. Our union is only as strong as our members and activity, such as voting, is a significant way to express your involvement. Thank you to everyone who mailed in their ballots.

We held our Executive Council meeting in Portland August 17-18. We discussed problems and successes within each region, discussed the organization of the upcoming 2015 IBU Convention, which will be held November 4-6. I had the opportunity to meet a young, active member of the Columbia River Region. It was uplifting to see the energy and excitement he has for our union, we will be sending him and a young active member from our region to an upcoming young workers conference.

I attended the Alaskan Artic Summit in Anchorage from August 23-25. This was a convention centering on the opportunities and challenges of drilling and shipping in the Arctic. It is a vital area that will be a necessity to get a strong foothold in before the boom happens. There are dozens of countries and several private investors drooling at the chops to get involved in this prosperous exploration. Within the next several years and estimated 100,000 jobs will open up, the majority of these directly related to shipping and dock work.

Our Alaska Nautical Services guys have recently suffered an accident involving two members. Both were injured and we are uncertain when they will be able to return to work. Our thoughts and sympathies go out the families and the crew. We have minor issues arising on occasion, our Shop Steward continues to actively handle most matters promptly.

Crowley members are doing well, we have very few complaints or concerns, when they do arise our Shop Stewards handle most matters straight away. I cannot express my gratitude enough you for all you guys do, thank you.

Sundance Stevedoring, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Unalaska have been quiet and are content.

Our Delta Western struggle continues. National President Alan Coté is still working on locking in a contract. The road is tough, the company will only meet one day a month to negotiate. This makes for a trying discussion process.

Our AMHS contract remains the most demanding. We are making improvements in communication and overall feel that the relationship with our main contact in LR is progressing well. AMHS contracts have been mailed out to all vessels, the contract is always available online thru the IBU-AK website.

Our 4 week dispatch is soon to be replaced with a 2 week “Pay period” dispatch. This will be a major change, we are hoping for the better. We can look at this is a trial period, there is a provision written in to allow either party to cancel the LOA with a 45 day notice.

The Actor Decision meetings are continuing. We are still trying to come to an agreement on some issues, notably use of vacation for health insurance coverage. We are also addressing our Southwest member’s use of vacation/sick leave. Our next meeting is Wednesday 9th and hope to rectify these concerns.

The state was unwilling to reasonably discuss our FVF ULP as a result we were unable to resolve our disagreement, the matter has been sent back to ALRA for further review. Because this was a joint filing with MEBA and MMP we have utilized the MMP attorney.

One of our Steward Eboard reps has resigned his position, that leaves us with one open Steward seat available. If interested send in notice to our Juneau office, your E-Board will vote to decide who will take that seat. This is your chance to get active in your department and have a voice.

We have not heard many issues regarding pay. It seems the negotiated pay raises have transitioned well.

Please remember our offices and phones are here for you. If you have any comments or concerns call or stop by anytime.

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific

Alaska Region

907-790-9644 office

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VOTE AND BE HEARD

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Candidates have been nominated for the International offices of the ILWU. You’ve probably received a ballot by now for that election. It is important that you take the time to vote. The IBU as  the Marine Division of the ILWU participates in many ways with the International and a strong showing at the ballot box shows all of the members, divisions, and locals that we take democracy seriously and that we have a strong voice in the affairs of the union. Traditionally we have had about a 35% voter return, lets show our Union Pride! So VOTE and be heard!

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region

 

 

 

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Link

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

The Governors picnic is being held this Friday August 14th 4:30-7:00pm at the UAS campus. Bring family and friends along and enjoy yourself. Lets show up and show our support. Make an IBU presence! 

Governor’s Picnic 2015

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region

August 12, 2015

Director Report July

Greetings brothers and sisters,

 

Hats off to our Governor for not buckling during a very frustrating time! The Governor has once again proven that he is a man of his word and has the best interest of the state and its workers in mind by refusing to buckle and release a budget that did not honor negotiated pay increases. Although the budget is funded only for the fiscal year 2016, it is still a victory. Thank you to the Honorable Bill Walker.

Recently your IBU delegates and I attended the 36th ILWU Convention, June 8-12. It was fantastic to be a part of this exceptional experience. ILWU brothers and sisters from all over the globe attended, Australia, Panama, Japan, Netherlands and New Zealand. This brought the realization that the ILWU is truly international, with strong ties to several unions across the globe, joining and aiding them in their struggles and victories. The constant message was that education, organization and solidarity are imperative to the success and of our union, unions in general.

It is still incumbent upon the rank and file of our union to act upon this message. To ensure that the rights and privileges of our members are not lost, we must stand united and fight the powers that would love to see unions dissolve. It is our obligation to the men and women who fought and died for fair wages, fair working conditions and fair treatment to leave our union in a better way than when we came into it.

Your E-Board will be meeting this September 29th, after the summer season is over. We have several issues to address, mainly within AMHS. As normal that contract to proves to be the most challenging.

August 17th will be the E-Council meeting. Our Directors from each region will be discussing national and regional matters.

Our Alaska Nautical Services contract has been agreed upon and is in force. We have had minor issues with them, thankfully we have a very active Shop Steward who handles most disagreements before they become major issues.

Crowley members are doing well, we have a concern once in a while; however, we have Shop Stewards there that are top notch and handle most matters directly. Thank you for all you do up there, your dedication is appreciated.

Sundance Stevedoring, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Unalaska have been quiet and are content.

Our Delta Western struggle continues. National President Alan Coté is still working on locking in a contract. The road is tough, the company will only meet one day a month to negotiate. This makes for a trying discussion process.

I’m happy to report that after 2 years, we had very good news regarding Cook Inlet Tug and Barge. The Board has affirmed that Cook Inlet captains are not statutory supervisors and all impounded ballots will be counted. This decision is not only good for this particular campaign, but will be useful for future organizing drives that include captains. The next steps here are (1) Region 19 to count the impounded ballots, and (2) if we win, the IBU will make a bargaining demand.

AMHS contracts are in the mail. We held off printing until the outcome of your pay increases were passed by the Legislature. As soon as they are received we will be issuing them to vessels and employees. Remember that the contract is available online on our IBU website.

The Actor Decision meetings are ongoing. We are trying to find an agreeable solution to address the undesirable effects for AMHS employees. We feel we are close to resolving the issue. We are trying to resolve the LWOP problems during this course.

We recently entered into an agreement with the state allowing FVF employees to be dispatched out of their home ports while the vessels are operating out of opposite ports. This was a matter of some debate, but in the end we agreed that this a gesture of good will on our part to help save the state some money in a financially unstable time.

We are still in negotiations with the state concerning FVF ULP. This was a joint filing with MEBA and MMP. We have until August 30 to come to an agreement. We feel that we can come to an agreement here.

Our ULP against the state for unliterary changing language in its trip pass policy is ongoing. These processes are quite lengthy and we often go long stretches without hearing any word.

We have not received any word from the state about our last Labor Management Committee where we addressed the problems with 4-week dispatch and the colossal amount of problems that originate from it.

On a positive note, the new pay scale is due to be out soon. The state has said that it will be posted soon and sent out. As soon as we receive it we will send to department heads. Remember to check your paystub and ensure it correctly reflects your new wage effective July 1.

Thank you to everyone for your feedback. One of the drawbacks of this position, I have found, is that not everyone is going to be happy with the outcome of decisions or my representation for them. It is a difficult realization. The measure of true success is if the people you represent are happy. I do hope the vast majority of our members are happy. Again please remember our office and phone are 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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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:

https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/AKDOA/subscriber/new?topic_id=AKDOA_54

FAQ links:

DOA –

http://doa.alaska.gov/dop/

Retirement and Benefits –

http://doa.alaska.gov/drb/headlines/2015/05/28/layoff-faq-pension-plans/#.VWjahkJ_nIU

Worker’s Compensation – http://labor.alaska.gov/esd_unemployment_insurance/Partial_Shutdown_Layoff_UI_FAQ.pdfUnemploye

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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