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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Ship’s Delegate and Department Representative

Attention:   IBUP Members


From:           Joshua Stephenson, Regional Director

Date:           June 30, 2015

It is once again that time of year for elections on board the Alaska Marine Highway Vessels for the position of SHIP’S DELEGATE and DEPARTMENT REPRESENTATIVE.

What does a Ship’s Delegate do?  The Ship’s Delegate (Shop Steward) is the Union representative sailing on the vessel.  Should there be problems on-board; the Ship’s Delegate can help to resolve them.  The Ship’s Delegate can also help with contract language discrepancies and as a representative of the Union can help to solve problems before they get off the vessel.  The Ship’s Delegate helps in orientation of new crew members on board and acquaints the new mariners with their responsibility in the Union.

 What is a Department Representative? The person that you can consult with in your department. Who has the ability to give you advice regarding the contract, and your responsibilities of  your job. The Department Representative will stand with you in an onboard dispute within your department.

Please hold a Union meeting to select your Ship’s Delegate and Department Representative.  The Union office will need to know who has been elected on each vessel and each crew, so that we are better able to serve our membership.

These positions are extremely important in the functionality of the Union.


Ship Delegates and Department Representatives

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

Each summer we hold elections for Ship Delegates and Department Representatives. We ask that elections be held as soon as possible on each vessel to select your Ship’s Delegate and Department Representatives. Each crew will hold a brief union meeting to nominate and elect their delegates and representatives. It would be beneficial that all delegates be permanent crew members and have a willingness to help their fellow Union Sisters & Brothers.

The Union offices will need to know as soon as possible who has been elected on each vessel and each crew, so that we are better able to serve our membership.

Knowledge of our contract is a must, you will be the person called upon during all ship board inquiries and meetings when a problem arises to be a witness to all meetings held on behalf of your Union Sisters & Brothers.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about the responsibilities of the above positions, please contact the Regional Director Joshua Stephenson or Patrolman Pete Lapinski.



Update on Status of FY 2016 Operating Budget

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

ASEA has shared the following information with us:


As you may be aware, last Saturday the House Independent/Democratic Minority and Majority arrived at a compromise on the FY 2016 budget that would have provided for a balanced budget on July 1. Unfortunately, the Senate rejected that compromise budget and it is now in the hands of a budget conference committee, comprised of 3 members of the House and 3 members of the Senate, to reach an agreement that can be approved by both the House and Senate. We can’t predict how quickly this process will work or what the outcome may be but remain optimistic that there will be a budget in place prior to July 1, 2015.

It is important for us to thank those who have stepped forward to pass a budget to avoid a government shutdown on July 1 and to honor the commitment that was made to you in our Collective Bargaining Agreement. Please take the time to send a thank you note to members of the House Independent/Democratic Minority and House Majority and the Senate Minority for taking this action and urge them to continue their commitment to avoiding a shutdown and honoring the contracts. We urge you to specifically thank the members of the Independent/Democratic House Minority for standing firm to ensure honoring our contracts was included in the House passed budget. You can access all these members by clicking on the following link:

Additionally, it is important to urge the Budget Conference Committee to accept the House passed version of the budget. Please thank the House Conference Committee members for the budget they passed and ask the Senate Conference Committee members to accept it. Those members are listed on the following link:

Remember it is always more effective to be positive and polite in your message no matter the position a legislator may have taken to this point on the budget. Also, always use your personal email when writing to legislators.

Although we remain optimistic that a budget will be passed prior to July 1 we know it is very unsettling that many of you will receive notices of pending layoff. We know the Governor did not want to have to mail these notices but it was his responsibility to do so in order to give required and adequate notice to all union employees. There are many questions regarding how a partial shutdown would occur and the effect on employees. The Division of Personnel and Labor Relations has provided answers to many questions. We have posted it on our website and you can access it by clicking on the following link:

Please be assured that we are working diligently with the State Administration and Legislature to avoid the shutdown and to honor our contract. Also, when and if it becomes clear that a shutdown will occur on July 1 we will be addressing a number of issues with the Administration.



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:

FAQ links:


Retirement and Benefits –

Worker’s Compensation –

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J Stephenson

Regional Director Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific Alaska Region

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