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