Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
This has been an educational past two months for me here. Our members have been very accepting of the change in office in our region. I would like to encourage our members to call or stop by our office to discuss any issues you may have, I believe in an open door policy. I want to thank all of you again for your support and trust.
Our E-Council met here in Juneau in January to deal with issues facing our members and to take care of our Regions business. Last week I attended the national council meeting 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, every region having new issues and old to attend to. This has been a very busy time for us as far as taking care of the business of our union.
AMHS- We have finally received the signature page from the State for our new CBA. We have posted this on the IBU website. The contract has been sent to Seattle for printing, this should be available in a few months.
With the current oil climate in such a drastic state of affairs, Governor Walker has directed substantial cuts across the board. Thankfully, the Governors support of maritime industry has proposed a budget that allows the AMHS to operate at 400 service weeks, the normal operating average.
The DOT has implemented a quick fix of using AMHS bars and bartenders as a sacrificial lamb to fall in line with budget cuts. Even though AMHS has been funded through fiscal year 2015, ending on July 1st 2015, the bars are still being closed now. The justification is that our bars lose money year round and the bartenders make over a million dollars a year combined including benefits. We’ve asked for the cost and revenue figures to substantiate these claims, but we have not yet received them.
We have been in several meetings with legislatures to discuss the top heavy management of AMHS, as opposed to taking the lazy man’s way out by simply cutting vessel service and mariners jobs. During winter months AMHS cuts the operating fleet down in half while retaining near 100% office support.
Several senators and representatives are in favor of and understand the necessity of AMHS service to our great state. We encourage all mariners, friends and family to call House Transportation Committee to courteously voice your opinion on the matter.
Rep. Dan Ortiz – 907-465-3824
Rep. Neal Foster – 907-465-3789
Rep. Shelly Hughes – 907-465-3743
Rep. Charisse Millett – 907-465-3879
Rep. Benjamin Nageak – 907-465-3473
Rep. Louise Stutes – 907-465-2487
Rep. Matt Clayman – 907-465-4919
We are currently setting up a solid date to meet with state to discuss an agreeable fix to the four-week dispatch issues. We are arranging for the later part of March with meetings in Ketchikan to include dispatchers to utilize their experience for a solution.
To our understanding the State has not yet implemented the Actor decision. We still do not know how implication of this ruling will impact our members.
We are waiting to hear the decision on the unfair labor practice filed for FVF crew meals. That decision could be a lengthy wait as there was no deadline put on the decision date.
Crowley- The vast majority of our members with Valdez Crowley are happy. There are some travel pay issues that are being addressed by our shop stewards, thank you both for your help and leadership up there.
Ketchikan Gateway Borough – All reports are things are running smooth.
Valdez longshore- With a new contract in place our brethren are doing well.
City of Unalaska- Our members doing good and happy.
Alaska Nautical Services- We are still attempting to come to an agreement with ANS management. Due to a change in operations, ANS has decided to renegotiate the entire contract that is in place. Negotiations are in progress and hope to find a resolve soon. Hold fast up there guys.
Delta Western- Negotiations ongoing, national president Cotè is still spearheading this contract.
Yours in Solidarity,
Joshua J. Stephenson
Regional Director IBU Alaska