Two Marine Licensed Employees Unions Form
Coalition to Bargain on Fast Ferries
January 31, 2004
State labor relations director Art Chance said, "The agreement to bargain jointly will allow for a separate contract covering the Fairweathers' unique operating conditions and the special skill sets required of its licensed crew. It was very important to the Marine Highway System that these vessels be distinct from the traditional fleet."
"The different requirements of the new fast ferries had led to misunderstandings and disputes," said Department of Administration Commissioner Mike Miller. "We decided we needed to get the principals in a room and see if they could work it out, and they did. We are very pleased with the vision and leadership shown by the state's licensed marine employees."
"Having been the representative of both MM&P and MEBA for more than a decade, I would like to express my deep appreciation for Governor Murkowski's long and steadfast commitment to a strong marine highway system, and to the proud men and women who have served the fleet and the state so well for over 40 years," said Don Kubley.
The state and the unions also agreed to hold all action on pending labor relations agency complaints in abeyance now that an understanding has been reached. The first joint bargaining session is set for February 11 - 13 in Juneau.
In a bargaining session with
the MM&P this week, the union and the state also reached
agreement on the long-stalled "rollover" agreement
to cover the period from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2004. The
agreement calls for status quo terms and the same $75.00 per
month increase in health insurance contributions that other state
employee unions have accepted. The agreement requires ratification
by union members and legislative approval.
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