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
Ady Milos, is in need of vacation donations to her sick leave account due for medical reasons to keep her health insurance current. If you can donate any vacation to Ady’s sick leave account please fill out a vacation request donating vacation to Ady Milo’s sick leave account in the bottom comment box and turn it in to the KTN or JNU IBU office.
June 3, 2014
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of the Alaska Region,
Hello to all across our great state of Alaska, here we are in the month of June and most of our members are hard at work and looking forward to a very busy and productive summer with our employers form the Aleutian Islands to the first city of Ketchikan. As we move forward in this very busy season we want to remind you all that safety first is always on the front burner at any of our work places, may it be on the docks of Valdez to the State ferries that move our precious cargo of Alaskans going from point A to point B or to our newest group at Delta Western in Dutch Harbor who have just joined the ranks and file of the IBU in our region.
This has been a very busy winter and spring time in our offices here in Alaska. Our patrolman Pete Lapinski has been very busy involved in contract negotiations with four of our contracts. Our Brothers and Sisters along the west coast to the port of Valdez have agreed to an agreement with Crowley Maritime to extend their contract and it is out to a vote of the membership.
Our members with the Gateway Borough of Ketchikan have signed a new contract that gives them a wage increase with no take-aways.
Pete is working right now with the City of Unalaska negotiating a new contract. Alaska Nautical is up next for negotiations.
Our Brothers with our longshore division in Valdez are busy at work and are moving forward like a fine tuned machine.
I just attended our national executive council meeting in Seattle May 19th & 20th where we discussed, planned and executed the actions of our union with the direction of all the regional directors, national president and national secretary-treasurer. Our agenda was full with almost every region having open contracts to negotiate. Many of the employers are not wanting to give freely to employees cost of living and medical increases.
We are in a time, Brothers and Sisters, where we the union’s in this country have to take a stand to continue to receive respect and acknowledgement that our members are the ones who continue to be the back bone of the industries that run this great country. Please keep in mind when you question what does my union do for me, that if it wasn’t for this union you would not have the job and benefits that you do today so thank the IBU for all they do. Together we will make a difference in our work places wherever you find the logo of the IBU worn proudly. Together we will stand strong and show our Solidarity.
Here in Alaska we just held our Executive board meetings May 27th – 29th with a very full agenda, which focused around the open contracts that are waiting to be negotiated. Our region is in very good shape and our finances are strong with our members with the seven contracts we represent. AMHS members are slowly being put back into the work force after being in reduction in force for over 18 months.
This is a time of change for most of us here in the Alaska region with more groups wanting to become union members throughout the state. As we move forward into the next three years please keep in mind that this is an election year for every position in our National office’s and every board seat is up for election in our Alaska region. I will not be running again as Regional Director of Alaska, after being a strong union brother for the past 35 years it’s time to move on and enjoy my twilight years. So I ask each and every member who is a full book member in good standing for the past 2 years to step up and take the challenge of being more involved in your union and show each other how strong the Alaska region can be. If you’re going to run for office of any kind this is the perfect time to let it be known and start to make your move to get the backing from your Brothers & Sisters to nominate you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact either myself, Pete or Karena.
We have been in a major battle with the State of Alaska, Department of Administration, who handles the Alaska Marine Highway system for our unlicensed workers. These negotiations began on December 17th and will continue on June 10th & 11th . From the start the state has not been willing to bargain in good faith. They have gone out of their way at each session to want to take away many of our contract rules and create a two tier pay system for Alaskans who will be hired after July 1st . Beginning in mid-February, the Commissioner of Administration decided they would introduce Senate Bill 182 to try and negotiate taking away COLD through legislation. We all stood strong and made our voices heard loud and clear that by delaying SB 182 before it could go anywhere during the first part of this legislative session. This was a very time consuming effort by all that were involved and we thank each and everyone who were a part of this historic effort. This legislative session continues on next year with all the current unsigned bills, including SB 182, so please be prepared to take a stand against this again and show that we are Alaska Strong.
Our national president Alan Cote has been to Alaska twice for AMHS negotiations and will be joining our team again very soon. We are at a point where we have TA’d 97% of the contract with 3 issues still standing in the way of getting the deal signed, we will continue to negotiate in good faith and move forward to getting the best deal without any major take-aways.
We have counted the strike authorization ballots, which came back with a 99% yes vote. You have spoken loud and clear with your approval to allow our negotiation team the tool to use if push comes to shove to use the power of a strike to get what needs to be accomplished on behalf of our membership.
We would also like to bring to your attention that we are creating a new information data base with your current information so we can generate group e-mails more efficiently. If you are not receiving the weekly crew list for the AMHS employees, please take the time and go to our web site www.ibupak.org and subscribe to the e-mail list.
In closing we would like to thank each and every member in the Alaska Region in advance for keeping your work places safe. Please show your union pride by doing the best job you can do and to be proud of at the end of the day of your efforts.
Yours in Solidarity, Ricky Deising
Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region