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
Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific