Regional Directors Report

Greetings Brothers and Sisters,

As you probably know where are now in the 29th Alaska Legislature season. This will be another trying session as adversaries of AMHS seek to tighten the purse strings even further on funding. At the Juneau office we will be busy attending several meetings and committee hearings during the season. There are still several Legislatures who are friendly to Unions and strong AMHS supporters. This is the time for all our members, friends and family to telephone their representatives and voice our support for continued funding, not only for AMHS but all our brothers and sisters who have CBAs with the State of Alaska.

Our other major concern is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. If this blatant attack on unionism goes the wrong way, we could very well be looking at the end of public sector unions. We are following this case closely, as is the nation.

All of our Alaska Region members should have received ballots to vote on a dues increase. The dues increase is $36.00 a year. The finance committee labored long and hard to find the most cost effective increase for our membership. Brothers and Sisters please take the time to vote. Exercise your right to vote on every issue that is put up for vote. Many of you may not know that the more votes we generate the greater pull we have at the national level. It is in all of our best interest to vote.

Our next E-Board meeting with be in Ketchikan March 8-10. March 10 at 1330 at Ketchikan office is the next general membership meeting.

Remember to think of a name change you may like and submit to our Juneau office before November 2016. We have had very few submissions to date.

Please CC Pete on emails. During these next few months I will be in and out of the office.

Alaska Nautical Service contract is as running on all cylinders. This April our ANS contract will begin preparing for a busy summer season. We still have very few issues up there. Our relationship with ANS management is still great and look forward to the same rapport with ANS’ new president. As always a big thank you to our shop steward in Valdez.

Crowley Valdez is still doing well. The open communication and candidness is very appreciated. We have a few minor issues once in a while. When there is an issue it is resolved quickly and openly. Our Shop Stewards are fantastic and work tirelessly with management to solve problems before they become an issue, I cannot say it enough, thank you for all your work up there.  We are still waiting for word on the RFP. Given the remarkable safety and professionalism shown by our brothers and sisters we are still hopeful Crowley Valdez will be given the contract.

Sundance Stevedoring, Ketchikan Gateway Borough and City of Unalaska all are pleased with no issues.

AMHS. Where to begin. This is the absolute most demanding contract (EVER). I am now the proud owner of several gray hairs because of the frustration this contract brings with it. The largest issue we have is the States interpretation of the Actor decision. We have been in negotiations with the State for over a year in an attempt to find a solution. The State has grasped onto the term regular days off to mean that none of the employees may use any of their personal days off to be considered in paid status. Of course this is troublesome because it means that no one has any idea if they are receiving health benefits or not, nor does the employer. This could all be solved by a simple agreement allowing employees to use leave to be in paid status. This is apparently not an option the employer is interested in. We are told in meetings with the State that the employer cares for the employee; however, ensuring that employees cannot use personal leave they have worked for is contradictory to that statement.

We continue to have issues with dispatch. We are getting mixed comments on whether the pay period dispatch is favored over the monthly. It is something we would like to know. Please let either of the offices know or tell an E-Board member onboard your feelings on it. If this new dispatch is not to the majorities liking, we can cancel it and go back to the monthly.

We have several grievances in the works. Please remember that grievances take several months to resolve.

Please remember to vote, remain active and uphold the level of professionalism the public has come to expect from our membership. Safe sailings.

The IBU offices are staff are here to serve YOU. If you have any questions, comments or concerns call or stop by anytime.

Yours in Solidarity,

Joshua J. Stephenson

Regional Director

Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific

Alaska Region